Deadlines are stimulating and key deadlines for the CES are the annual Conference and the Annual General Assembly. Since the Conference is taking place from May 24 to May 27 in Montreal, all CES volunteers and staff have been working hard over the past two months to get ready.

The Conference Host Committee has selected 215 proposals that will form the program for the Conference. This will be the largest CES Conference ever from the point of view of the scientific content (excluding joint conferences with AEA in 1995 and 2005). The Host Committee has also selected a fabulous set of keynote speakers who will bring us to new intellectual territories. Add to that stimulating workshops, thematic breakfasts, the final round of the 2015 Student Case Competition, the International Buddy Program, the Seminar on Francophone Research in Evaluation, an exciting social program, etc. and you get an irresistible offering. I look forward to meeting you in Montreal.

We continue establishing bridges with other important organizations in evaluation. We have received a response from the Treasury Board of Canada to our plea for support of federal evaluators to express their professionalism by becoming Credentialed Evaluators. An initial meeting has taken place to discuss where this could take us all. I also presented the Canadian experience of professional designation of evaluators to the management team of the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank Group (WBG) as well as to the Results, Measurement and Evidence Stream of the WBG. The World Bank is concerned with the professionalization of evaluators and looking into mechanisms to support it. In parallel, the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation is compiling information on the work being done by national associations regarding credentialing, looking for common threads regarding professionalization of evaluation.

EvalPartner planned a conclave in Katmandhu for November where the Global Evaluation Agenda 2016-2020 will be determined; the location of this conclave may have to change due to the recent natural disaster in Nepal. The CES part of the dialogue on the 2016-2020 Agenda is also taking place right now; we would like your input into this discussion either on the Web or at a special session at the Conference or by e-mail if you so desire. CES' Past President is instrumental in EvalPartners' new initiative called EvalCulture; more on this later.

On the local front, I witnessed the vitality of our Chapters by participating virtually in one-day events taking place at CES-Alberta and CES-New Brunswick. The offer of locally-delivered training has also been exceptional this spring. In March and April, two webinars were offered to CES members, thanks to Gail Barrington and Marie Gervais. Two additional webinars are already announced for the coming weeks. A special committee has been working with Kylie Hutchinson at planning the development of some six intermediate level training sessions that will see the light of day in the near future; this work will help support the on-going professional development of CES members and other evaluators.

After years of excellent work building Evaluation Mentoring Canada, the group of volunteers who founded this initiative was ready to pass the baton. CES has agreed to take this project under its wing; this will occur over the coming weeks and months. Our first contribution will be to translate the site and to make it equally accessible in French and in English. Plans for further development will be discussed later; your views are welcome.

I was very pleased to announce that, as of July 1st, Gail Barrington would become CES' Vice-President for 2015-2017. I know how committed Gail is to the CES and to the Professional Designations Program (PDP); having her in charge of the PDP will be extraordinary. Gail will be able to improve the PDP based on the results of the evaluation that CES is contracting right now under the leadership of VP Janet Ivory and with the help of evaluation moguls Shelley Borys, Emma Williams, and Brad Cousins.

Over the past two months, The Communication and Marketing Committee and the Executive Director have concluded new and exciting arrangements with private suppliers who will bring significant new benefits to members. The details will be announced very soon.

The Board of Directors has been working hard on a strategic plan for CES for 2015-2018. This plan will be presented in draft at the Annual General Assembly and will be open for comments and consultation until the end of June. It will form the basis for our action plan for 2015-2016.

I look forward to meeting you in Montreal at the 2015 Conference. It will be a culminating point of our year, for sure. 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), Sidiq Ali, Jacques Bérard, Robert Chatwin, Maureen Matthew, Sandra Sellick, Brenda Stead, Brenda Wedge, Kate Woodman