Winner, Award for Contribution to Evaluation in Canada, 2012


The Contribution to Evaluation in Canada is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of evaluation in Canada. Examples of areas of contribution include:

  • Conducted research which advanced evaluation theory or practice in Canada;
  • Undertook projects which advanced the theory or practice of evaluation in a meaningful way;
  • Carried out advocacy activities, raising the awareness of publics in Canada regarding the need for/benefits of evaluation;
  • And any other endeavour by an individual which serves to advance the cause of theory or practice of evaluation in Canada in a significant manner.

Marie Gervais is currently a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at Laval University. She brings over 20 years of experience in the evaluation field. She has been very active with SQEP and received their Recognition Award in 2007. She is described as having an exceptionally strong grasp of evaluation theory and contributing to the development of that theory. She is recognized being an outstanding practitioner and a mentor to the next generation of evaluators in Quebec.

Please Marie come forward and receive the recognition you deserve.

Acceptance speech

Wow! What a feeling to be here with you this afternoon to receive this important award. It's a great honor to be recognized by CES. And I want to start off by giving a special thanks to Michael Obrecht, who nominated me.

I am deeply proud to promote evaluation as a tool for healthy democracy and good governance, in Canada and abroad, because I believe wholeheartedly that evaluation has the power to influence public policy and give us policies that truly meet the population's needs. That's the objective—but to get there, we as evaluation professionals have to draw more deeply on our experience and expertise to work together, tirelessly, to build evaluation capacity—for individuals, larger organizations, universities, and government institutions. In Canada we stand as a model in terms of both the professionalization and the institutionalization of evaluation. And as professionals it is our duty to continue along the path we have set, every day of our professional lives.

I would also like to thank my employer, Université Laval, for the trust it has shown and the leeway it has given me throughout a career dedicated to developing evaluation in a range of practical contexts, in Québec and internationally. This career has also given me the opportunity to represent two organizations, CES and SQEP, on a range of important matters. The Réseau francophone d'évaluation springs to mind, of course, but I'm also thinking of EvalPartners, where Québec and Canada also play an important role.

I also want to thank you, my colleagues. One way our field is special is the wealth of opportunities for human contact it offers—contact that enriches us personally and strengthens our professional identity as evaluators. That's why I want to dedicate this award to each and every one of you here today.

I would also like to thank my students, a neverending source of inspiration. And of course I can't forget my family and friends, who have been there for me—agreeing to "share" me with my many professional commitments. I thank them for encouraging me to always aim higher than I thought possible.

Being an evaluator means you get to work for a better world, each and every day. I've worked with determination, and dedication, and I will continue to work just as hard in the years to come. Once again, I want to thank the CES for this award. And congratulations to the Nova Scotia chapter for hosting this great conference we are all enjoying so much.