For the pilot, four AES Fellows have volunteered to act as mentors. Each mentor will meet with a group of up to five mentees once a month from January to June 2021. A summary of each mentoring group’s focus is included in the biographies below.
NOTE: In future iterations of the program, it is expected that the mentoring initiative will provide experienced evaluators within AES membership the opportunity to volunteer as mentors. Learnings through the pilot will help to identify eligibility requirements for potential mentors.Download mentor profiles as PDF file
Over the past 30 years, Alan Woodward has conducted many evaluations of services and programs. He has used evaluation to guide policy development and to address concepts of effectiveness in complex service environments. He embraces participative evaluation and the use of evaluation for collaborative action. Alan sees great value in the use of data from monitoring and evaluation activities for service quality and continuous improvement. He has promoted evaluation and built organisational capacity, especially through the establishment of the Lifeline Research Foundation for Lifeline Australia, and sees great importance in embedding an evaluation culture into organisations at all levels.
Alan’s experience is mainly in health and human (social) services. For the past 20 years, his work has been focused on mental health and suicide prevention, mostly working in the charitable/not for profit sector. He now works as an independent advisor and consultant.
Alan has been a Member of the Australian Evaluation Society since the 1990’s. He contributed to the Code of Ethics development and the AES Conference at Wollongong. He has served as a Board Director and as President of the AES and now as a Fellow. Alan appreciates that the AES has brought him in touch with many ‘like minds’ and wonderfully talented people to share experiences, frustrations and new ideas on evaluation. He is keen to share his experiences with others and to continue to learn together.
Alan’s evaluation passions are threefold: design, consumer input and knowledge translation.
a. Scoping and commissioning evaluations. The ‘front end’ of evaluation provides an opportunity for stakeholder education about what an evaluation can and should do. Often this requires a strong internal capacity and know-how to be done well.
b. The inclusion of consumer or lived experience participation in evaluation can be fostered through attention to evaluation design and to data collection and methods.
c. Evaluation knowledge and data can inform notions of ‘best practice’ and support continuous quality improvement. It can be challenging, however, sorting through the selection of ‘evidence’ and concepts of best practice.
Alan intends to enable the exchange of insights amongst mentees and to offer guidance as an experienced evaluator by facilitating discussion, asking questions and offering suggestions.
Alan is available late afternoon / early evening, on weekdays.
Evaluation has been the main focus of Penny Hawkins career for over 30 years. She has worked in the government sector (NZ & UK) for most of this time but also in philanthropy (USA) and more recently in the private sector. After a long period as an evaluation leader and manager for various organisations (e.g. UK Department for International Development, The Rockefeller Foundation, NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZ Ministry of Social Development), she established her own consulting company in 2016 based in Wellington and working internationally.
Penny has been an AES member since the 1990s and served as Vice-President from 2000-2003 and President from 2003-2006. In 2009, she became an AES Fellow. She is also a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA), the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and the European Evaluation Society (EES). Penny served as Chair of the OECD-DAC Evaluation Network from 2013-2016.
Penny’s publications include: Evaluation Cultures: Sense-Making in Complex Times. Jean-Claude Barbier and Penny Hawkins, Eds. 2012. New Brunswick, N.J. Routledge; Enhancing Evaluation Use (Ch3): Evaluation Management, 2013. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA; Evaluating Sustainability - Evaluative Support for Managing Processes in the Public Interest: Achieving Sustainability Through Sustainable Evaluation Systems (Ch5), NDE, 2019, Wiley, USA.
The focus of Penny’s interests has changed over time, from the theory and practice of evaluation and quality standards, including ethics; to commissioning and managing evaluation; to developing and sustaining evaluation systems in organisations. One of her main interests at present is the development of impact measurement approaches and methods in the impact and social investment field.
Penny’s approach to mentoring relationships is based on active listening and reflection, underpinned by the principles of trust, confidentiality, mutual respect and sensitivity. For a group process she would start by facilitating agreement on the boundaries and ground rules at the first session. Penny intends to be led by the group as to the focus of discussions, aiming to balance the interests and needs of all group members.
Penny is a busy consultant practitioner working 3-4 days a week and also spends some time on pro-bono work including individual mentoring and as a board member of three international organisations. She is available between 10am and 4pm (NZDT) on Fridays.
Emeritus Professor Rick Cummings
Professor Rick Cummings has been conducting evaluation studies for the past 40 years, mainly in Western Australia but also nationally and for the World Bank in Papua New Guinea. He gained his PhD in evaluation from Murdoch University and after 10 years in the WA public sector, has held an academic position there since 1995. He currently teaches policy research and evaluation units at Murdoch and the University of Western Australia. He has also supervised a number of Masters and PhD students.
In the AES, Rick has been a member of a number of committees and was President from 2006-8. He was made a Fellow in 2013 and currently chairs the Fellows Committee. He has been conducting AES professional development workshops for over 20 years on a range of topics including policy evaluation, program logic, monitoring and evaluation, performance management and evaluative thinking.
Rick’s PhD dissertation was on enhancing utilisation of evaluation information and this remains one of his major areas of interest. He is a firm believer that there is a lot we can do in the ways we plan and conduct evaluation studies that will increase their use by decision makers and other stakeholders. Rick is also interested in how we evaluate public policies, which are often complex and long-term strategies adopted by governments to address major social issues. He has a strong interest in how we plan and report evaluation studies, again to improve their quality and the likelihood the results will be used.
Rick intends to guide and support mentees
1. By facilitating a self-directed group learning process involving:
a. Clarifying individual mentee and group goals, expectations, and topics for exploration
b. Encouraging mentees in sharing their questions, knowledge, and experience
c. Reflecting on the group’s progress, effectiveness of the mentoring sessions
2. By suggesting activities for the group or individual volunteers to undertake (readings, discussion topics, articles/evaluations to critique, work specific activities)
3. By identifying, clarifying and questioning assumptions that arise during discussions
4. By sharing his own knowledge, experience, and key references to help resolve issues for individuals and/or the group.
Rick has recently retired from Murdoch University so is generally free during the day between 9:00 and 4:00 WA time. His preferred days are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He can also be available in the evening on these days.
Scott Bayley manages his own evaluation consultancy business and is the former Principal Consultant for Monitoring Evaluation and Learning at Oxford Policy Management (OPM) for the Asia Pacific region.
Scott holds a MA in Public Policy majoring in evaluation and social measurement. He has over 25 years of experience in evaluation and is a Fellow of the Australasian Evaluation Society. Prior to having his own consultancy Scott held senior positions with OPM, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusAID, the Asian Development Bank, the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. Scott also served as an advisor to the United Nations Secretariat on performance measurement; the Evaluation Capacity Development Group in Geneva; UNICEF; Valuing Voices: Sustainable Solutions; and the world’s peak evaluation body, the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation.
Scott has published over 70 evaluation reports across a number of fields including international development, health, education, indigenous affairs, the environment, infrastructure, capacity building, and governance. Scott is experienced in applying a broad range of data collection methodologies ranging from document analysis, interviews, focus groups, surveys, benchmarking costs of service delivery, and has skills in both qualitative and quantitative data analysis. He has an advanced knowledge of program design, theory-based evaluations, plus monitoring and learning as demonstrated by a number of internationally recognised evaluation publications.
Scott intends to guide and support mentees
1. By facilitating a self-directed learning process:
a. Clarifying group goals, expectations, and topics for exploration
b. Encouraging mentees in sharing their questions, knowledge, and experience
c. By reflecting on the group’s progress, effectiveness of the mentoring sessions
2. By suggesting activities for the group or individual volunteers to undertake (readings, discussion topics, articles/evaluations to critique)
3. By identifying and questioning assumptions that arise during discussions
4. By sharing his own knowledge and experience, key references.
90–120 minutes once a month, preferably afternoons or evenings.