Allow me to start this bi-monthly report with the sincere wishes of every member of the Board of Directors: may 2016 bring you joy, peace, health, success, and everything else you desire. If 2016 is anything like 2015 for the CES, it is going to be fabulous. Let's wrap up 2015 with a report on November and December activities. Progress on the CES Strategic Plan is well underway!
Priority #1: Increase the Value of Evaluation
As the year rounded up, we held no punches with regard to advocacy for evaluation. Activities included: a welcome letter to the incoming Prime Minister, and to the President of the Treasury Board of Canada, meetings with the Deputy Minister to the Premier of Saskatchewan, with representatives from the University of Regina, and from United Way Regina; a presentation to federal evaluators at an EvalConnex meeting; and the publication of three articles and one interview in the December issue of the Canadian Government Executive Magazine. They were two very full months!
The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation team produced its Fall 2015 issue prefaced by these enticing remarks from the Journal Editor Robert Schwartz: "Preparing the editor's remarks for CJPE 30(2) has brought a big smile to my soul. This issue is jam-packed with gems. Covering a wide range of hot and less hot topics, the issue has more than a little bit of something in it for all readers from the many corners of the evaluation community in Canada and abroad."
The Governance and Process Committee has also issued calls for nominations for the Service to the Society Award, for the Contribution to Evaluation in Canada Award, and for new Fellows. These calls are still open.
Externally, our Past-President contributed to the Global Evaluation Week in Kathmandu. As Treasurer of IOCE and of EvalPartners, and as lead of the new EvalIndigenous initiative, Larry has represented the CES with great effectiveness.
Priority #2: Grow and Diversify Membership
The Communication and Marketing Committee has been working on analyzing a number of important membership-related items, including considerations for addressing membership categories; the analysis will continue until the spring and chapters will be kept in the loop.
Ongoing efforts to improve services and benefits to members include a new Staples Discount Program and steps towards online training (see below) and preparing to launch a mentoring initiative.
The Board held its mid-year face to face meeting in Regina — a first in the recent past to meet outside of central Canada in order to connect with Chapters. Vice-President Gail Barrington and Treasurer Simon Roy gave their time to offer two half-day workshops and a luncheon with local Chapter was held before the beginning of the Board meetings; the workshops organized by CES-SK were very well attended.
Priority #3: Advance the Professionalization of Evaluation
The organization of CES' annual 2016 Conference (St.John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, June 5 to 8) was put in high gear. The C2016 website was launched. Calls for proposals for workshops and presentations were issued. The former has led to a fabulous international workshop program that will be highly attractive to evaluators from all venues. The latter is still open until January 15: write up your presentation, panel, or poster summary! You will want to be a part of the 2016 Conference which promises to be keep you on the edge of your seat. In an effort to support participation, the Board has decided to cover the Conference registration fees for one member per CES chapter who would not otherwise be able to attend; and it also set aside a small budget to help offset some of the travel costs of five evaluators from the Global South to attend the 2016 Conference.
I represented the CES at the AEA Conference. I was pleased to see the quality and extent of the work done by AEA on their evaluator competency scheme; the CES competency profile did contribute significantly to the AEA thinking in this regard. The AEA Conference was as large and diverse as usual. Presentations on the Canadian experience with the evaluator credentialing program were well received.
We have issued a call for proposals for the development of new intermediate level workshops. The Professional Learning Committee is now working at formulating contracts for this work. At the same time, the CES is preparing to embark on online training and is actively discussing with potential suppliers for the best platform for virtual and mixed-method courses. A conversation with Chapters will be important to iron out administration and revenue-sharing arrangements. More news will follow very soon.
After an immense investment of volunteer time, a significant portion of The Program Evaluation Standards: A Guide for Evaluators and Evaluation Users (Third Edition) has been translated into French and was released for French-speaking evaluators. This was a massive endeavour which benefited from the collaboration of all parties involved.
On the Professional Designations front, we have firmly passed the 300 Credential Evaluator mark. The Board of Directors has reviewed an initial draft of the evaluation of the Credentialing Program; we hope to get a final version in January that we will share with members as soon as translated.
Your Board of Directors worked assiduously to create, revise, and update its suite of governing policies. Twenty-two operating policies were finalized and adopted, as well as terms of reference for standing committees (to be posted on the CES intranet as soon as translation and formatting are complete). This is an important step forward in the governance and good management of the Society.
As usual, please feel free to contact any Board member or the Executive Director to let us know what your concerns are and how we can better support evaluation and evaluators across Canada and elsewhere.
Benoît Gauthier, President of the Board of Directors
Your Board of Directors: Gail Barrington (Vice-President), Simon Roy (Treasurer), Robert Chatwin (Secretary; Nova Scotia), Larry Bremner (Past President), Réanne Kinsella (Chair, Communication and Marketing; Newfoundland and Labrador), Kate Woodman (Chair, Professional Learning; Alberta and NWT), Brenda Wedge (Chair, Governance and Process; Prince Edward island), Sidiq Ali (Ontario), Denise Belanger (Manitoba), Johann Jacob (SQEP), Kathy Gerber (National Capital), Maureen Matthew (Saskatchewan), Sandra Sellick (British Columbia and Yukon), Wayne MacDonald (New Brunswick), Rebecca Mellett (Executive Director).