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Reality, Risk, and Resilience: Reimagining Evaluation

The reality we occupy today is vastly different from what we experienced even 5 years ago. In 2019, no one had heard of COVID, artificial intelligence was not a regular part of our lives, and severe global weather events were less prevalent. In 2024 we are confronted with increasing division and angst reflected in competing pressures to succeed professionally and personally while still maintaining good physical and mental health. Against this backdrop, we as evaluators are asked to balance costs, rigor, and ever shortening timeframes to tell deep and meaningful stories within these competing pressures. 

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In many ways, the field of evaluation has not changed for decades while at the same time evolving so rapidly that all of us are struggling to keep up. At EERS we recognize that these changes can be overwhelming for evaluators, but at the same time we want to inspire our field to think differently about our work. Thus, as evaluators we need to be resilient. We sometimes struggle with our work and assumptions and some audiences may not value the expertise we bring to discussions. Yet, we need to find the strength within ourselves to recognize and overcome our faults while also continuing to stand up for what we believe in. 


Our resilience should embolden us to take risks, especially within our new reality. As evaluators, we need to get out of our comfort zone regarding risk, even in a time where more people are becoming risk averse. We hope you are ready to help reimagine evaluation, in whatever way that makes sense for you and for our field. In this new reality, what we can accomplish and what we should attempt has to be different than before. 


We cannot just evaluate, but must also innovate and evolve. Please consider submitting a proposal to present at EERS 2024 and share your journey reflecting your own realities, risks, and resilience. We would love to hear how you are reimagining the field of evaluation and looking forward to your proposal submissions. 

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