Winner, Award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada, 2006


The Contribution to Evaluation Award in Canada 2006 winner is Benoît Gauthier. Benoît was nominated by the National Capital Chapter of CES. This award is designed to recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to the theory and/or practice of evaluation in Canada.

Over the past 20 years, Benoît has been intensively involved in a vast number of programs evaluations as well as in research and education about evaluation. His research activities have included publications on client satisfaction, evaluations of the future of evaluation practices in Canada and a book on social research methods. Benoît has also been a strong advocate for discipline. His recent research project on Canadian evaluators provides significant findings and insights on a number of topics, including certifications issues. His work on the CES Web site also provides a central clearinghouse for the discipline in Canada. His support for the development of a new generation of evaluators is also significant. Benoît is a seasoned lecturer at three universities. He also presented numerous training workshops for CES. While less tangible, Benoît's role as a mentor to young and also not so young evaluators is also a major contribution to the evaluation community of Canada. For all theses reasons, Benoît's contribution to the discipline is significant and makes him a prime candidate for the Contribution of Evaluation in Canada Award 2006.

Acceptance speech

It is a great honour to receive this Award for contribution to evaluation in Canada. I interpret this as an indication that my work in evaluation over the past 23 years has had meaning. I attribute this meaning to the teachings of significant people in my professional life: Ms. Joyce Potter, Mr. David Moynagh, Mr. David Black and many others. I thank them for the influence they have had on me.

My work in evaluation has been driven by my understanding of program evaluation as the pursuit of knowledge on program effects. Knowledge, not rumours or approximations. Knowledge, not hypotheses or opinions. Knowledge, which requires rigour and time. Knowledge, which demands dedication and commitment.

New evaluators must realize the very important duty that they are accepting. They are trusted with the responsibility of giving decision-makers a true reflection of the breadth and depth of program effects and a reliable assessment of program value. This is our job. This is what defines us, evaluators.

I want to thank the CES again for this award. I will continue to be a professional evaluator.

Benoît Gauthier, June 2006