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Date and time: Wednesday 18th July 2018 5.30 - 7.00 pm
Topic: What is the place of e-valuation in evaluation practice?
Presenter: Dr. Amy Gullickson and Dr. Ghislain Arbour, Centre for Program Evaluation, University of Melbourne
Venue: VicHealth Seminar Room, Ground Floor, 15‐31 Pelham Street, Carlton South
Register online by: lunchtime on Monday 16th July 2018

This is a free seminar organised by the VIC Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our monthly seminar series provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in Victoria and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators. Members are encouraged to bring along colleagues with an interest in the topic even if they are not yet members of the AES. Please pass this onto your colleagues and networks.


Seminar overview

Evaluation is often described as a particular type of inquiry that is distinct from traditional research. However, recent debates in evaluation cast doubt on the extent to which this unique inquiry process—i.e, valuation— is embedded in the practice of evaluation. This has implications for those who work in the evaluation field as it leads to the question: why hire an evaluator and not just a content expert or applied researcher?

In this month’s seminar, Amy and Ghislain will take part in a panel discussion exploring what makes evaluation a unique inquiry process, and the extent to which this process is embedded in evaluation practice.

Amy will argue that evaluation’s current focus is on techniques and research methods, rather than the core task of valuing. Evaluation competencies and approaches reflect this focus, in particular through the absence of specific competencies targeting the core task of valuation. Amy will make a case for using the logic of evaluation (criteria, standards, measures and synthesis) and the task of evaluative synthesis as a way to differentiate evaluation as a discipline.

Ghislain will challenge the idea of an evaluation discipline that defines itself first and foremost through its practice. Much like physicians need to be knowledgeable about diseases and medical treatments, Ghislain argues that evaluators should rely on theories about how to determine the value of programs, instead of focusing on the professional conduct of evaluators.

Panel presentations will be followed by a short ‘fireside chat’—a guided question and answer session to delve more deeply into the question of what makes evaluation unique and how we can distinguish evaluation from other, similar processes. 


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