American Evaluation Association (AEA) Conference

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United States of America

The theme is The Power of Story in Evaluation and the conference will take place in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Storytelling is essential to evaluation. Storytelling serves many purposes: it can build relationships, ground evaluation work, describe the context, convey data, impose meaning, share lessons learned, and identify challenges left to address. Evaluation can tell stories; sometimes story fuels evaluation instead. Evaluation 2023 will reflect on how storytelling contributes to and shapes the narrative of evaluations, and dive deeper into storytelling’s usage, benefits, and impacts on our practices.

Evaluation Fuels Story

Narrative is a strategy for making sense of the world used in both evaluation practices and day-to-day in individuals’ lives. Stories can bring life and context to findings, offer evidence, or transcend a desire to specify each piece of data. Evaluation processes and data are non-linear and finding key themes helps evaluators relate their work in a more tangible way, so that they may be more effective in their work.

Story Fuels Evaluation

Story can shape evaluation methods and support relationality. Understanding the cultural knowledge of a community or demographic can impact evaluation approaches, processes, and the reporting of findings. Of course, this is not new; Indigenous storytelling traditions laid the groundwork for today’s methods and we continue to seek ways to bring them to the forefront.

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