Sara Vaca on My 3 most Remarkable Moments About Evaluation

Greetings! I’m Sara Vaca (@visualbrains), independent consultant at and Creative Advisor of this blog.

Evaluators are very interesting people, whose experiences are as worth exploring as the people we work with. So I had this idea: wouldn’t it be great to know the top 3 stories/moments that most influenced each evaluator?

I think it would be very inspiring… And I’m in no way the most interesting evaluator I know, but to get this started, these are my 3 most remarkable moments that influenced my career as an evaluator:

  1. When I was not yet involved in -only interested- in the professional field of Evaluation, I randomly ran into Patricia Rogers on twitter and I decided to go through the people she was following. When I finished going through the 400+ long list of organizations and people she was following, one hour later, I had lost track of time or space and I had the amazing feeling of being back from planet “Evaluation.”
  2. Later within my M.A. in evaluation, I had as assignment to read “The SAGE Handbook of Evaluation” (Shaw, Greene & Mark) where Eleanor Chelimsky recalled the 8 year process of evaluating U.S. military nuclear triad policy. Wow, I thought. If you can evaluate this, you can evaluate “anything.”
  3. Finally, last year during the European Evaluation Society (EES) conference in Dublin, I had the honor of having dinner one night with lovely Lovely Dhillon. Engaging with everybody as she usually does, we were having a great time with the kindest Irish staff. At some point, they left our table and she turned to me with excitement and said: “People are my favorite!!!” The sentence made us laugh for a while…, but again, wow, I thought: if that is not evaluation, what is?

And I think these would be my three most remarkable experiences.

Picture from fotoactionphotography
Picture from fotoactionphotography

If you liked the idea, please think of your 3 stories and you are willing to share them, please send them ( Depending on how many people are in, we will do a thematic week with them. Or make it a regular post for some time… Or we could even gather them into an eBook and share it. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Sara Vaca on My 3 most Remarkable Moments About Evaluation”

  1. Pingback: Sheila B Robinson on My 3 Most Remarkable Evaluation Moments · AEA365

  2. Sara, this really touched my heart. Loved all three….the Irish encounter was wonderful but could clarify how it spoke to you of evaluation? Anyway, thanks so much for sharing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.