The CES Annual Report for 2019-20 is now available. The report details the hard work and achievements of dedicated volunteers who lead CES' boards, committees, projects, working groups and initiatives coast to coast to coast. Thank you all.
Here is the President’s Update:
The last year has been an eventful one, and I would like to begin this report by wishing you all the best through challenges which touch all of us personally and professionally.
We’ve seen public health and systemic inequalities and injustices rise within the public consciousness in ways that have catalyzed individuals and organizations to change. Our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) and sustainability prepared us to address these issues in a meaningful way. If you have not already, I invite you to join this journey in step with the many CES volunteers and members who are adapting and innovating in service of a more just and sustainable world.
Over the past year, CES has continued to develop professional learning offerings to meet the needs of our members. Our annual conference will take place virtually for the first time ever in 2021, and the Conference Co-Chairs and committees are actively learning about how to support access to conference learning, facilitate networking and community building, and ensure an inspiring experience for attendees. CES Chapters, which had spent the first part of the year supporting in-person professional development and community-building events, are now working to engage members online. The Professional Learning Committee continues to build content through the e-Institute and support learning through webinars. We look forward to building a strong online presence to facilitate ongoing interaction and learning within the evaluation community.
Reconciliation continues to be a key theme for CES, as reflected by the work of DEIWG, the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (CJPE) and the e-Institute, which supports Indigenous evaluators, Indigenous world views and evaluation in Indigenous contexts. In addition to timely articles and practice notes on themes such as evaluative thinking, evaluation capacity building, professionalization, the CJPE published content around reconciliation, including a special issue on evaluation in Indigenous contexts. The e-Institute is currently developing a new course on truth and reconciliation in evaluation. Moreover, the Ottawa Conference Committee had struck a new reconciliation advisory committee that ensure the C2021 conference actively supports reconciliation.
To ensure our ethical standards are up to date, the Ethics Guidelines Task Force undertook considerable research, consultation and development, with support from the Ethics Reference Group. The CES Board accepted CES Guidance for Ethical Evaluation Practice early this year and is preparing a final consultation and implementation plan.
The Sustainability Working Group volunteers completed a stocktaking exercise and will be sharing its findings in a report that will be posted on the CES website, as well as through upcoming webinars and presentations. I encourage you to reach out if you are interested in learning more or providing input as we develop an operational plan to embed sustainable practices within CES and support evaluators in addressing sustainability in their work. (Click here for the SWG Annual Report to read more information on key activities and next steps.)
CES continues to support students and emerging evaluators to develop their skills and take an active role in the evaluation community. The Student Evaluation Case Competition took place online this year, with the largest audience in its history. I congratulate the competitors, organizers, judges and sponsors for their flexibility in crafting what was ultimately an incredibly successful event. The CES Board has introduced a new Student and Emerging Evaluator Representative, with the intention of better serving students and emerging evaluators, increasing their involvement in CES, and informing the Board of issues that will help us improve our contribution to strengthening opportunities for them.
I am also pleased to share that the number of Credentialed Evaluators (CE) continues to increase, and a number of professional learning and post-secondary programs are now using the CES competencies as part of their curriculum development. Employers are also continuing to reference CES competencies for evaluators in job requirements.
CES members continue to be highly engaged, with several hundred members volunteering their time with the CES conference, Chapters, Committees, Working Groups, Task Forces, Student Evaluation Case Competition, CJPE and professional learning events. Members also actively participate through learning events, social media and networking. Fellows have contributed to policy development and continue to volunteer their time in support of CES. To facilitate more members participating, all volunteer Committees, Working Groups and Task Forces are now listed on the CES website, along with terms of reference and contact information.
There is a strong sense of community, with increasing attention to diversity, equity and inclusion. The DEI Working Group has played a key role in reviewing all new policies to ensure that they support DEI, and we will share updates about its work in the coming year.
CES also continues to play an active role in the international evaluation community, with ongoing commitment to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation and EvalPartners, the Francophone Evaluation Network (RFE) and other collaborative initiatives.
We are grateful that CES sponsors have been supportive through the transition to a virtual conference, providing essential resources during this unprecedented time. Many sponsors are members of the evaluation community and they contribute in solidarity with our broader goals as a Society.
Finally, over the past year, the IT Working Group developed a detailed set of requirements to create a seamless online experience that we aspire to offer members. We will be introducing more integrated systems during a time when technology is needed more than ever to keep us connected and informed.
Your membership in CES is increasingly important to maintaining a sense of community, and enhancing the role of evaluation in responding to change and informing the evolution of complex systems in times of uncertainty. I invite you to take an active role in Chapter and national events, reach out to your friends and colleagues, and share your learning and experience.
Sarah Farina, CE