CES Online Learning Goes Live: Welcome to the CES e-Institute!

Karyn Hicks

Winner, Award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada, 2005

The Contribution to Evaluation Award of the Canadian Evaluation Society goes to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the theory and/or practice of evaluation in Canada. This contribution is typically a cumulative effort over an extended period of time. Some examples of the areas of contribution may include:

  • Conducting research which advances evaluation theory and/or practice in Canada;
  • Publishing book(s) and/or article(s) which make a significant contribution to the field;
  • Undertaking project(s) or studies which advance theory and/or practice of evaluation in a meaningful way;
  • Teaching, mentoring and/or trained evaluators in academic or cooperative education programs, and/or practicum settings;
  • Carrying out advocacy activities, raising the awareness of publics in Canada regarding the need for/benefits of evaluation;
  • Carrying out work related to the above-noted areas outside of Canada, which generates direct and significant benefits to evaluation in Canada; and
  • Any other endeavours by an individual which serve to advance the cause of theory and/or practice of evaluation in Canada in a significant manner.

In her work as a program evaluation expert for the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) over the past 10 years, Karyn has been an active champion of increased accountability through the application of program design, program evaluation and performance measurement.

Karyn's work has resulted in the development of policies to guide the practice of accountability within the GNWT, and a body of resource materials relied upon within the Government and throughout the Northwest Territories, by non-government organizations, boards of management and local governments. Karyn's work is widely recognized and her assistance is frequently sought by colleagues in other departments and other organizations.

Some of her more notable achievements include:

  1. Developing an accountability framework for the GNWT, leading to the publication of annual government performance reports. This work was recognized by the Auditor General of Canada in the 2003 Report to the Legislative Assembly.
  2. Developing the Program Planning Guidelines, which have been adopted as the policy basis for program design within the GNWT.
  3. Producing the Northwest Territories Program Manager's Survival Guide to Program Evaluation: this comprehensive resource manual covers the basic concepts of program design and evaluation, including an extensive array of methods and tools. The whole package is written in plain language, and includes numerous examples of use based on northern communities and aboriginal culture, to make it accessible for use by a wide variety of community workers in the Northwest Territories.
  4. Pioneering the first North American delivery of the University of Melbourne's Graduate Certificate in Program Evaluation: 19 students in the Northwest Territories are currently pursuing their second course in this program.

In addition to these highlights, Karyn has helped to develop a corporate culture that values evaluation and performance measurement not only within the Government of the Northwest Territories, but throughout the NWT. She has provided technical support to numerous program evaluation projects, and has delivered training workshops for government staff, non-government organizations and community workers.

Karyn is also a founding member of the NWT Chapter of the CES, and has served as a member of the National CES Council and as Vice-President.

Nominated by Debbie DeLancey, Deputy Minister, Municipal and Community Affairs, Government of the Northwest Territories