It is with great pleasure that the Quebec Evaluation Society (SQEP) is organizing the 2015 National Conference of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), which will be held in Montreal from May 24th to May 27th 2015 at the Sheraton Centre. On this occasion, SQEP wishes to invite the broad community of Quebec, Canada and international evaluators to be part of this event and thus take advantage of opportunities for learning, development, exchange and networking on key issues related to our community of practice.
The year 2015 being EvalYear, the theme selected for the 2015 conference is Evaluation for the world we want. Our world faces significant and persistent challenges, including increasing social and health inequalities, problems of access to education, gender inequality, issue of environmental sustainability, as pointed in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.
The 2015 CES conference offers, through the participation of speakers from the evaluation community of practitioners, but also to the government, non-profit and academic sectors, a space for reflection on ways in which evaluation could help solve these major issues of our time, at local, provincial, national and international levels. The themes which will be explored are:
1. The influence and power of evaluation to build a better world
Evaluation, through the information it generates and shares, has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people by influencing public policy, helping to improve the performance of programs, and empowering communities by fostering democratic debate. How does evaluation come to achieve influence? We call for presentations which will illustrate the power of influence and transformation of evaluation and discuss ways to strengthen this influence.
- How evaluation makes a difference to your community?
- How evaluation can influence policy?
- How evaluation contributes to democratic debates?
- What are the barriers to be overcome and the practices to enhance in order for evaluation to really help build a better world?
- How to increase access to evaluation knowledge and it’s sharing?
2. Challenges and achievements of evaluation for better governance
Public administrations and governments are facing significant and global challenges: pressures on public finance, corruption and integrity of mechanisms of representation and public procurement, cross-border issues such as climate change, pandemics, public safety, access and protection of information, etc. The complexity of these issues, interventions, difficulties in identifying and measuring their effects represent challenges for governance and evaluation. The conference theme illustrates how evaluation addresses the challenges of better governance of our organizations, our institutions, our communities and our societies in order to improve the world we live in. Presentations in this theme could be oriented by the following questions:
- What role evaluation can play for better governance?
- What are the nature and extent of the challenges for governance and how evaluation can respond to these challenges?
- What are the new trends, the new roles that are emerging in evaluation? What do these new roles involve for the evaluators?
- Does evaluation always have positive consequences for better governance?
- What are the conditions for evaluation to play an instrumental role for better governance, and not a symbolic role?
- What approaches and methods are likely to bind the practice of evaluation to contexts and actual challenges in public administrations?
- What are the impacts of this context on the competency profile of the evaluators?
3. Promising theories, approaches and tools
Program evaluation, as a disciplinary field, has a plurality of theories, approaches and tools. The conference theme will present promising theories, approaches and tools in order for evaluation to contribute to improve the world we live in. Furthermore, the globalization of information opens up new prospects for the use of data. But this new availability raises the question of information processing (big data), its accessibility, the means to educate an audience overexposed to evaluative messages. Presentations will address the following questions:
- Among the methodological range, which theories, approaches and tools are relevant to help us meet actual challenges, to positively influence the public, our communities, our institutions, our governments?
- How should we adapt our theories, approaches and methods to further influence our world?
- How should we integrate new technologies to better disseminate our results?
- What tools should we use to allow evaluative messages to be heard in a context where our potential users are already strained by information?
- What are the challenges and necessary changes in theories and evaluative approaches in order for evaluation to adequately contribute to solve the major issues of our time?
- How could we assert the credibility of our evaluation in a context of over-availability of information messages?
- Evaluation for a better world… A new paradigm?
Evaluators, the invitation is open to you! Whether you are a consultant, an evaluator in a public agency, working in community or academic sectors, take part in this event by sharing your results, experiences and thoughts on these issues. Evaluators from around the world, let’s engage in a dialogue on the future of evaluation and innovation in its practices.