Winner, Award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada, 2007


For almost three decades, Edward Jackson has made significant contributions to the field of evaluation in Canada and internationally through consulting, research and graduate teaching. He is currently Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies at Carleton University. He is also President of E. T. Jackson and Associates Ltd., an award-winning consulting firm. He is a member of the Canadian Evaluation Society and a Life Member of the International Development Evaluation Association.

Mr. Jackson has served as a senior evaluation consultant for almost 25 years, conducting major program, project and institutional evaluations in 50 countries. Beginning in 1997, he pioneered the application of CIDA's Framework of Results and Key Success Factors in evaluations in the international forum. He led major program reviews worldwide (public management, basic human needs), in Ghana (water management) and in China (higher education). More recently, he conducted an innovative evaluation of post-conflict education-reform in The Balkans for CIDA; advised senior management of IDRC and the World Bank on participatory evaluation strategies and methods.

Since 1993, Edward Jackson has taught project and program evaluation in developing countries in the graduate School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, again promoting a synthesis of results based management and participatory methods as well as critical analysis of the role of evaluation in aid policy. He has taught or supervised over 400 graduate students, many of whom now work at CIDA, IDRC, NGOs and consulting firms. Also, in 2001 Mr. Jackson was the co-founder of the Carleton University-World Bank International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET), a residential executive-development program that trains 150 participants from 40 countries each year.E. T. Jackson and Associates Ltd.

Mr. Jackson has written extensively in the fields of participatory evaluation in development cooperation, including the edited book (with Yusuf Kassam) Knowledge Shared: Participatory Evaluation in Development Cooperation (Kumarian, 1998) as well as numerous scholarly books, articles and chapters on participatory evaluation and research, community development and local development together with professional articles and presentations to the public-policy, official development assistance and NGO communities.

Please join me in congratulating Edward Jackson – an excellent choice for the Canadian Evaluation Society Contribution to Evaluation in Canada Award in 2007.

Acceptance speech

Thank you very much. This helps to ease the pain of the Ottawa Senators' loss last night!

I am truly honoured by this award from my peers. This room is full of leaders in the evaluation field, and I'm very humbled.

I want to thank my nominators—Helen Patterson and Doug Kane—both fine evaluation practitioners, as well as other colleagues who supported my nomination.

It is also very special to share this moment with some of my students, who are here doing good things at this conference. I hope you will have a chance to interact with them. Their energy and insights are invaluable to me.

My own journey started over 30 years ago in a conversation with the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, in Toronto. He argued that citizens must become "the subjects, and not merely the objects, of their own history." I have been guided by his words ever since. And I've been fortunate to work with wonderful colleagues and mentors over the years who put that approach into practice, including Dal Brodhead, Tim Brodhead, Sulley Gariba, Katherine Graham, Budd Hall and Yusuf Kassam.

The same year, in 1976, as a graduate student, I supported a coalition to fight a huge clear-cutting project in northern Ontario. We stopped the project. My field placement supervisor, Magda Seydegart, years later became my wife and life partner. Consequently, I've always felt very positively toward field placements and service learning! Magda's leadership in human rights and gender equality, and of our family, has been permanently inspiring. Thank you, Magda for your partnership and inspiration.

Let me make three points related to the theme of this conference:

  • it is time to put social justice at the centre of the evaluation process. We got into this business to make the world better—let's get serious about social justice;
  • results-based evaluation and social justice are fully compatible. People deprived of livelihoods, of their rights, of safety and of care are the most results-oriented of all stakeholders; and
  • we know more than ever before how to enable citizens and social movements to participate substantively in meaningful, rigorous evaluation processes. We have many toolst hat can engage people in urban neighbourhoods and small towns in creating new knowledge to make better policy and programs.

Finally, we are in the midst of a generational shift in the evaluation profession. Young practitioners must gain the tools for citizen-driven evaluation for social justice. Universities like mine and President Axworthy's, and others you are associated with, have important roles to play in this process. The Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University is committed to making a real contribution to this global as well as pan-Canadian transition.

I look forward to working with you, and learning from you, on these and other tasks in the years ahead.

Thank you so much!

Edward T. Jackson
June 5, 2007
Winnipeg, Manitoba