On behalf of your Board of Directors, Happy New Year! We are finally there: 2015, International Year of Evaluation, recognized as such in a United Nations resolution passed on December 19! (It is just sad that Canada voted against that resolution, showing us that we still have a lot of education work ahead of us.) The international evaluation community is planning a variety of events. We will focus our celebrations on the Montreal Annual Conference (May 24 to 27; mark your calendar) where we invite evaluators from around the world to discuss "Evaluation for the world we want". The CES (National, Alberta, and Quebec) will support the journey of seven evaluators from the Global South who have never attended a CES Conference and whose proposed presentation will have been selected by a jury of reputed evaluators. We look forward to meeting them and to learning from them.
The Montreal Conference is taking shape and that shape looks good! Around an inspiring theme, the organizers have lined up fabulous keynote speakers. The call for workshops is now closed; the Host Committee has received a large number of spectacular proposals. The call for presentations is still open; it is time for you to decide to share your knowledge and experiences "for the world we want". Still on the Conference front, the Newfoundland and Labrador Host Committee has finalized an agreement with the St.John's Sheraton Hotel: the 2016 Conference will take place June 5 to 8, 2016.
The hiring process for an Executive Director is moving along. The Executive Committee has reviewed resumes and selected individuals for interviews; we are now reviewing references. We hope to announce the name of the first ever CES Executive Director in January. One of the responsibilities of the Executive Director will be to coordinate sponsorship efforts; if you have an interest in this area, let me know.
The Credentialing Program is still going strong. There are 279 Credentialed Evaluators as of now and we are planning strategies to push this number much higher. A crucial element of this strategy is the conduct of an evaluation of the program. A request for proposals was launched (deadline January 9) for this evaluation. We expect to get results on time to discuss and adopt changes to the program at our Board meeting in May.
The Professional Learning Committee has managed two webinars in November and December. More are to come. Note that members have access to the archived webinars on-line. If you missed them live (with the opportunity to interact with the presenter), you can still tap into the insights offered. The redesign of the Essential Skills Series, CES' flagship introductory training package, has been completed and chapters are now equipped to deliver it. The Committee has also launched a request for proposal (deadline of January 5) to put together an operational plan for the development of six intermediate-level seminars. In due time, this will lead to exciting new professional development opportunities.
The Communication and Marketing Committee has led the Board of Directors through a reconsideration of the type of access provided to the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. Based on a member consultation, the Board of Directors has decided to maintain open-access to the CJPE but to reserve the three most recent issues for members. I believe this is an appropriate compromise that balances the contribution to evaluation knowledge that members value and the benefits that members should enjoy. We were also informed that our application for triennial funding for the CJPE was approved by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; thanks to Robert Schwartz, CJPE Editor, for leading this effort.
The Governance and Process Committee has started work on updating and completing CES Policies. The legislated review of our by-laws completed in 2014 highlighted some gaps that need to be filled for good governance. The Board of Directors has also started working on an updated strategic plan for 2015-2018. We have created an Audit Committee that will advise the Board on financial matters.
The CES wants to exercise influence over key issues related to our mandate as promoters of evidence-informed decision-making. In November and December, I wrote the Prime Minister of Canada on the state of the Canadian Census and on the UN resolution on evaluation capacity. Another CES letter has reached the Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada in December. You will learn more about this next week. If you think of opportunities for the CES to voice its message, please let me know.
As always, feel free to contact me to raise concerns, to offer advice, to volunteer your time, or simply to let us know that what we do matters. All CES Board members are volunteers and appreciate hearing from you.
Benoît Gauthier, President of the Board of Directors
Your Board of Directors: Janet Ivory (Vice-President), Simon Roy (Treasurer), Larry Bremner (Past President), Réanne Kinsella (Chair, Communication and Marketing), Kathy Gerber (Chair, Professional Learning), Amy Richmond (Chair, Governance and Process), Jacques Bérard, Dawn Campbell-Borland, Robert Chatwin, Maureen Matthew, Sandra Sellick, Brenda Stead, Cindy Wood, Kate Woodman