June 2013

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

Mr Andy Rowe. Here is a transcript of his introduction and acceptance speech.

Introduction speech

The Fellowship of the Canadian Evaluation Society is comprised of CES members who have achieved prominence in their field, contributing to evaluation and the promotion of the Canadian Evaluation Society for a period of at least 15 years. On behalf of the Canadian Evaluation Society, it is a privilege to introduce our newest CES Fellow – Dr. Andy Rowe.

Andy has made significant contributions not only through his service to the Canadian Evaluation Society and other evaluation associations, but also through his extensive and innovative work in the evaluation field, particularly in the area of environmental program evaluation.

Andy is a founder of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chapter where he built a network of local evaluators to form the chapter which remains active today with members in all regions of the province. Andy is also a former National President of CES from 1994 to 1996, among other accomplishments playing a key role in the success of the joint international conference in Vancouver in 1995. Andy was also instrumental in bringing an innovative CES National Conference to St. John's in 1998.

More broadly, Andy has been a major force in the growth of the Environmental Evaluators Network and a key leader in the Environmental Program Evaluation TIG of AEA.

Supporters of Andy's nomination included colleagues and clients in Canada and the United States. As one of his supporters described:

Andy is a singular contributor to one of program evaluation's newest subfields: Environmental Evaluation. He is a leader in the developing area of environmental evaluation theory who has pushed for practical innovations in methods and demonstrated excellence in execution of environmental evaluation. His more recent publications have anchored environmental evaluation firmly within the broader field of program evaluation, working to mature our thinking about evaluation contexts at [to quote Andy] "the intersection of complex and linked natural and human systems."

As another nominator noted:

Andy is a world-class ambassador of CES and of evaluation more generally. He conveys the importance of evaluation, while not falling prey to the risk of overpromising what evaluation can deliver. He advocates, and in his own practice implements, flexible and practical methods for evaluation, while still maintaining high standards for evidence. He has an infectious enthusiasm without the naiveté or tunnel vision that sometimes accompanies it.

From his promotion of CES nationally and internationally, to his work strengthening links between CES and AEA, to his fostering of the Environmental Evaluators Network, to his contributions to evaluation through publications, teaching, and presentations, Andy exemplifies the characteristics of a CES Fellow.

In closing, I would like to add something of a personal note. First, if you don't already know, Andy can be a very persuasive fellow. He was CES President when I first came onto CES Council. Somehow at my first meeting, I ended up chairing a Committee and then, two years later, Andy took my "I'll think about becoming CES President" as a definite "yes." Seriously, I had the good fortune to meet Andy as a result of our mutual involvement with CES and I have had the great pleasure of calling him a very dear friend and valued colleague ever since. So it is with delight that I welcome Andy into the CES Fellowship.

Acceptance speech

Being welcomed to the Fellowship of the Canadian Evaluation Society is a surprisingly humbling event for me. It involves being nominated by colleagues and friends whom I deeply respect, being honoured by the support of evaluators who I admire, and being accepted by Fellows whose significant contributions to evaluation have already been recognised. Thank you Linda Lee and Pat Saunders for nominating me. Thank you Mel Mark, Katherine Dawes, Beverley Parsons, Kai Lee, Bill Diepeveen, Bea Courtney, Russ Graham and Shelley Borys for supporting the nomination. And hello and thanks to the Fellows for your unanimous vote of welcome.

I am keenly aware that my contributions to evaluation and CES are intimately contingent to the efforts of many people with whom I have worked. And am pleased that their contributions to making me a better evaluator are also being recognised today. I am keenly aware that courtesy and tact have not been hallmarks of my relationship with evaluation and the Society. Admitting a blunt colleague to the Fellowship testifies to the maturity and spirit of CES and evaluation in Canada. Evaluation in Canada is in good hands.

Successful evaluation and the success of the Canadian Evaluation Society is directly connected to the meritorious contributions of many. The CES awards recognise and honour the contributions of our colleagues to both evaluation and the Society. I stand here to testify that awards matter, and to call on all of us to use the CES awards more assertively to pay tribute to those whose contributions have furthered evaluation and the Society.