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Steve Montague, FCES

May 2011

One new fellow has joined the ranks of the Canadian Evaluation Society Fellowship.

Mr. Steve Montague. Here is a transcript of the nomination speech delivered by Lisa O'Reilly

First off, I'd like to acknowledge Bob Segsworth and the Fellowship Advisory Committee, as well as the CES National Council, and outgoing VP Barry Warwick, for their work in managing the CES Fellowship. I spearheaded this Fellowship nomination – with huge support from Oma Persaud and Carolyn Montague.

Steve began his career in evaluation in 1980 – when he was 5. He is now partner at Performance Management Network Inc. (PMN) and much more. He is an accomplished evaluator, an evaluation theorist, a sought-after presenter and instructor (including IPDET) & now – an adjunct professor at Carleton University. He has completed, led, assisted in, participated in, consulted to and otherwise left his mark on hundreds of evaluations: each a testament to his evaluation skills – except for that one, but we don't talk about that. He's involved with and influencing AEA, European Evaluation Society (EES) and at the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA). He is a founding member of PPX – an Ottawa-based organization is worth investigating.

I wanted to have a picture up for this presentation was from his book, The Three Rs of Performance: Core concepts for planning, measurement, and management (1997). I won't be putting that picture up.

His theories have grown to include systems theory, regulation and structural context, and realist evaluation and program theory.

When I started this, I thought I would email a few people and do some photocopying and be done. As it turns out, the enthusiasm for this nominee was overwhelming. Past colleagues, current colleagues, critical thinkers, students, mentees and nearly everyone else I spoke to was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Over 40 people were involved – sending some of the nicest letters I've ever read, from large and small communities near and far (Auckland, Bangkok, Calgary, Edinburgh, Gatineau, Helsinki, Keene, Leeds, Melbourne, Ottawa, Perth, Toronto, and Victoria). Charmingly, Erica Wimbush has offered support for Steve's nomination on behalf of the whole of the evaluation community in Scotland – and she may be right. I'd like to repeat for you some of the quotes from those letters:

  • Petri Uusikylä describes Steve as a "conscientious and energetic pioneer in the fields of evaluation."
  • Ray Pawson, himself an internationally known figure in evaluation, describes Steve as "a fine ambassador" for evaluation, noting his reputation for good work across "Canadian agencies as well as his contributions in the US and Australia."
  • John Mayne: Steve's championship of this 'Canadian approach' to evaluation and his contribution to evaluation internationally "through his consulting projects and at international conferences."
  • Canadian Cancer Society: Steve's "profound professional knowledge" helped the Cancer Society to use evaluation to better achieve its mission and to tell their performance stories.
  • Sanjeev Sridharan describes the breadth of Steve's influence through a "sustained body of reports, consultancies, presentations and other reflections on evaluating complex systems [that] has raised many important questions on the assumptions, goals, and practice of evaluation." He describes Steve as "among the leading evaluators" in theory-based evaluation. And he's fun in a bar.
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, the PMN alumni who've provided their support – Alexandra Dagger, Isabelle Bourgeois, Lisa Fairweather, Lisa O'Reilly, Mary Kay Lamarche, Jennifer Birch-Jones, and Jane Whynot – as well as Steve's partner Suzanne Lafortune, have all been or are supporters of the CES itself.

To make a long story short: Steve loves evaluation, he knows what role it can and should play in public policy, he should is proud of his role within the CES, he is an excellent evaluator and, most importantly, he inspires and invigorates others to want to be the same.

We'd now like to congratulate Stephen T. Montague.