President's Update, June 2017

The first half of 2017 was busy for everyone involved in CES.

The highlight for me was the successful Vancouver conference. With over 500 people in attendance this conference continued the recent trend of increasing attendance at the annual conference. We are confident that it will follow in the next conference scheduled for Calgary in May of 2018.

Highlights of Vancouver for me included the strong Aboriginal presence in the keynotes – Dr. Kim van der Woerd and Paul Lacerte – and in the presence of our Elder Roberta Price. Their presentations were heartfelt and full of insight with respect to the situation for Aboriginal people in Canada. The conference workshops and presentation were full of relevant and exciting insights on evaluation. Many people noted that the presentations by individuals were well attended, with overflow or full to capacity seemingly being the norm in most meeting rooms.

Some newer initiatives organized at the conference seemed to work well. This included a networking area and receptions for international delegates, Fellows and Credentialed Evaluators as well as a social for Chapter Board members to meet eachother. The social program, hosted dinners and “evaluation buddy” program continue to offer opportunities for delegates to meet with hosts while enjoying the local environment. Conference organizers took up sustainability for less waste and more awareness of the beauty and innovation typical of the west coast.

Great food throughout, great organization and a wonderful social calendar. I participated in and enjoyed the Vancouver rowing club evening of entertainment and the dinner with evaluators. It was a great party at an appropriate venue.

A huge thank you to the conference organizers Sarah and Chris and their army of volunteers. The professional event organizer, eVoque, kept things moving along and worked seamlessly with the volunteers.

Well done and join us in Calgary!

The Society has been busy on other fronts. I keep close connections with Chapter Presidents and was pleased to visit Ottawa to connect with evaluation partners in the federal government and civil society. I was pleased to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Alberta-NWT Chapter remotely, and also to join the Saskatchwean Chapter for their AGM. While in Regina, I offered a workshop on social return on investment to add an additional element of interest to the meeting. Benoit Gauthier delivered several presentations on behalf of CES to Ottawa area evaluators with a strong focus on our Credentialed Evaluator program.

We launched the CES e-Institute for online learning in May with two full courses and several other smaller courses made available. We have 4-6 other new courses at various stages of development and we are busy updating the delivery and management model for the CES e-Institute in what we describe as Phase 2. You are encouraged to visit the site, try out a course and offer suggestions.

The membership survey completed last year has been translated into an informative infographic and individual chapters are also using their provincial results for planning.

The Board of Directors is in transition and we are welcoming a variety of new faces to the board while saying goodbye to some long standing supporters. So expect some new names on the executive and in member at large positions.

I say a formal thank you and best wishes to outgoing Board members who end their terms this month: Vice President Gail Barrington, Treasurer Simon Roy, New Brunswick Representative Wayne MacDonald, and Saskatchewan Representative Maureen Matthews. Our Secretary and Nova Scotia Representative Robert Chatwin will take on the Treasurer role. Your volunteer commitment has made CES possible and we look forward to welcoming your successors in the transition.

CES is pleased to welcome the new Editor of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, Isabelle Bourgeois.

Our Credentialed Evaluator program remains vibrant with new applications and successful candidates continuing to emerge. The program has attracted attention internationally and in federal and provincial governments.

Our membership fees were updated in January of this year to expand fee structures for members of Not for Profits as well as evaluators from the Global South.

Our Governance and Procedures committee continues to add required policies and revise existing ones where it is needed, and oversee Society processes for Awards and contracts.

I hope you have had an enjoyable spring and have great plans for your summer. Enjoy and keep in touch via our Sunday eblast and website, or reach out and contact me, the CES Secretariat or our Executive Director, Rebecca, anytime.

Harry Cummings, CES President