2015: Let’s Get Real: Evaluation Challenges and Solutions

Sun, 04/26/2015 to Tue, 04/28/2015

The 38th Annual EERS Conference will be convened April 26-28, 2015, returning to its traditional home at the Seaview Resort and Spa. This year’s conference theme is Let’s Get Real: Evaluation Challenges and Solutions, inviting participates to reflect on the evaluation challenges they face. It offers professional evaluators, academics, students, and evaluation consumers the forum to discuss the strategies they have used (or would use if faced again) to overcome those challenges or mitigate their effects. As you consider what to present, peruse the following topics to get your ideas flowing.

  • Creatively addressing unexpected challenges with measures, data, or study participants
  • Recommending innovative techniques and design to improve program efficiencies
  • Conducting an evaluation of a “moving target”
  • Working with stakeholders who have disparate views on a program’s mission and potential outcomes
  • Navigating “mid-stream” changes to an evaluation’s scope or purpose
  • Staying in touch with vulnerable populations in longitudinal studies
  • Increasing response rates with hard-to-reach populations
  • Analyzing data and reporting findings from a multi-site evaluation
  • Managing client expectations
  • Generating buy-in from evaluation stakeholders
  • Conducting a solid evaluation when time is of the essence
  • Innovative quantitative methods intended to address limitations of study data


International Year of Evaluation

2015 has been designated the International Year of Evaluation, intended to advocate and promote evaluation and evidence-based policy making at international, regional, national and local levels. If you are contemplating submission of a proposal to present at the EERS conference, consider aligning your content with this initiative.


Five key points when preparing your proposal:

1. Submit your proposal early!  The proposal deadline is Friday, December 12. You have until April to pull it all together for your presentation and we expect to send out acceptances in late January.

2. Consider the best format for your work. Paper, Panel, Skill Building, or Ignite (new this year).

3. Be selective. To increase program participation, we typically include the best presentation submitted by an author.

4. Know your co-authors. Have info on your co-authors on hand when you submit your proposal. (You'll need their city, state and email address.)

5. Keep Informed. Follow us @EasternEval and #EERS15 on Twitter for the latest on the 2015 conference.

Submissions are now being accepted. Please refer to instructions for the EERS online submission system for detailed instructions on the proposal submission process. Any questions regarding the submission process can be directed the Program Committee Co-Chairs:

Cheryl Ackerman, PhD:  cma@udel.edu  302-831-8585

Barry Nazar, DPA:  barrynazar@gmail.com  717-433-6869



The 2015 conference continues its long history of exceptional presenters, featuring a distinguished group of speakers in addition to continuation of the EERS Invited Authors Program and pre-conference workshops tailored to evaluation professionals. Key guests for this spring's conference include the following:

  • Lisbeth Schorr (Keynote Speaker) - Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • Tom Cook (Plenary) - Professor of Sociology, Psychology, and Education and Social Policy; Northwestern University Institute for Policy Research
  • Stewart Donaldson (Plenary) - Dean of the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation (SSSPE) and the School of Community & Global Health (SCGH) at Claremont University


The Eleanor Chelimsky Forum

Now in its 3rd year, the Chelimsky Forum on Evaluation Theory and Practice focuses on the conference theme through the eyes of selected luminaries from the evaluation field. Supported again by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the 2015 Forum’s Plenary Presentation will be delivered by Abe Wandersman. Mary Dixon-Woods will serve as discussant, facilitating an open dialogue with conference participants.

Pre-Conference Workshops

EERS has a long history of providing popular evaluation practitioner workshops immediately prior to the formal opening of the annual conference. This year's pre-conference trainings will be listed below, with links to additional information about sessions and presenters.

EERS Conference Sponsors

EERS invites organizations interested in partnering as a conference sponsor to contact Tom Archibald by email. In addition to supporting the practice of evaluation in the northeastern U.S., your company will benefit from exposure to a select group of evaluation professionals on this site and in the conference program. See previous years' conferences for examples.

Conference Materials

Conference materials and presentations will be provided below. For those planning on submitting presentation proposals, please start thinking now about making your materials available. Questions about formatting and other considerations can be directed by email to Kirk Knestis.