The CES Annual Report for 2020-21 is now available. The report details the hard work and achievements of dedicated volunteers who lead CES' boards, committees, projects, working groups and initiatives coast to coast to coast. Thank you all.
Here is the President’s Update:
2020-21 was a year full of events that required adaptations and changes to what we used to call our regular way of doing business.
With advent of the pandemic, CES witnessed several challenges, which started with a drop in membership that was coupled with the cancellation of Ottawa C2020 conference. Both affected our revenues and put us in a challenging financial situation.
However, throughout the year, with the great collaboration of CES volunteers, we were able to reverse that situation with great success. We were successfully able to organize the CES first virtual conference, which maintained the quality of the CES conference program while still allowing delegates to actively network while comfortable at their homes. The C2021 was a hit with no doubt with 900+ delegates attending the conference from across Canada and internationally.
With the financial challenge we faced, the CES National Board endorsed an expenditure freeze on the special projects that were approved at the beginning of the fiscal year to rationalize the use of financial resources. This strategy enabled us to build a buffer that helped us to support chapters with seed funding in addition to endorsing a new membership rebate formula that raised their share of the membership revenue and compensated them for the loss of the revenue from their local professional development activities that used to sustain their operations.
We were also able to offer membership flexibilities and promotions to enable current members to renew and encourage new members to join CES in order to bring our membership to what it was before COVID-19. Now, compared to the same time in 2020, our membership increased to be close to where it was before the pandemic (1,642 members as of May 2021). With the increase in membership and the revenue from the C2021 conference we are starting the new fiscal with a solid financial position that enables us to resume working on our special projects that aim to respond to members’ professional development needs as well as providing them with a quality and seamless membership service.
CES also made some changes in governance this year in order to strengthen and further develop our operations in certain areas. First, the National Board appointed the first Student and Emerging Evaluator representative (SEER) in order to connect with students and emerging evaluators across Canada and be able to identify their professional development needs and cater for them.
Building on the dedication, hard work, and a multitude of projects completed by numerous chairs and members of the Sustainability and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Working Groups over the years, the CES National Board approved the creation of a new Standing Committee that will strengthen CES’ approach to social responsibility, and to incorporating the guiding principles of sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion into CES operations and governance, in response to the CES 2019- 2024 Strategic Plan. This new governance structure will enable CES to be more accountable, responsive, and coordinated in its approaches and commitments to these important guiding principles. In order for us to be responsive to the members’ needs, we solicited the opinions of CES members in defining the roles and responsibilities of the new committees through a members’ survey. We also incorporated opinions from CES Fellows, Chairs of committees and working groups and Chapters.
CES Professional Learning Committee continues to work toward elevating the professionalization of evaluation through offering professional development opportunities that responds to members’ needs. This year the PLC Chair and e-institute Director have been in continuous conversation with Chapters to discuss leveraging the e-institute courses and the alignment of virtual learning opportunities across Chapters.
The Professional Designation Program (PDP) continued to strengthen the profession of evaluation and increase the number of Credentialed Evaluators (CEs). As of April 2021, 500 persons had been awarded the CE designation.
Our Communication and Marketing Committee was also busy this year updating CES members regularly about strategic changes taking place and sharing conference news, professional development opportunities and other CES events through our weekly newsletter and the social media. CES also continues to play an active role in the international evaluation community, with ongoing commitment to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation and EvalPartners, the Francophone Evaluation Network (RFE) and other collaborative initiatives.
CES continues to support research and critical reflection in the field of evaluation through the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation (CJPE). The special issue on teaching evaluation, entirely composed of practice notes, was eagerly awaited in the academic community. As evidenced by comments and article sharing on Twitter, this issue has generated a lot of interest and is an important contribution to the field.
CES also continues to play an active role in the international evaluation community. CES has been a very proud supporter of the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), the Eval-partners and the Francophone Evaluation Network (RFE). We actively participated in the Evidence Matters Campaign that reconfirms the commitments to the Global Evaluation Agenda (EvalAgenda) and aims at maximizing innovation to evaluate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We also supported the Eval-4-Action Campaign with other evaluation partners from across North America.
Without doubt, it has been a busy year full of achievements, which could not have been realized without the dedication and collaboration of CES volunteers, Fellows, Chapters, Committees, Working Groups and Task Forces. We appreciate the support of everyone and we are looking forward to another productive year full of collaboration.
Doaa Saddek, PhD