EERS Week: Jill Feldman and John Kelley on the Eleanor Chelimsky Forum as a Learning Opportunity

Hi! We are Jill Feldman and John Kelley, board members of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS), AEA’s oldest affiliate, writing to tell you about the Eleanor Chelimsky Forum, a hallmark of our annual EERS conference.

Eleanor Chelimsky is one of the most insightful, influential, and respected evaluators of our era. At the 2012 EERS Conference, Eleanor proposed the idea of a forum to spark debate using common practitioner experiences that challenge evaluation theory as a way to improve both theory and practice.

When Eleanor speaks, EERS and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) listen! The inaugural Eleanor Chelimsky Forum was held in 2013. The Forums are funded through a generous grant from RWJF.

Lesson Learned: Attracting high caliber speakers to the Forum was a pleasure not a problem. Michael Quinn Patton and Tom Schwandt, Deb Rog, and Abe Wandersman readily agreed to kick off EERS conferences in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively by serving as featured Chelimsky Forum speakers.

Rad Resource: Manuscripts written by Chelimsky Forum speakers are published each year in the American Journal of Evaluation (AJE). The 2013 inaugural articles by Michael Quinn Patton and Tom Schwandt and discussant response by Laura Leviton of RWJF are available on AJE’s website. Stay tuned for Deb Rog’s soon-to-be-published article based on her 2014 address.

Rad Resources: Posting videos of the Chelimsky Forum on the EERS YouTube channel helped spread the word as did joining forces with AEA to create a webinar with Deb Rog that reached evaluators across the globe.

Rad Resource: Read Eleanor Chelimsky’s 2013 article, “Balancing Evaluation Theory and Practice in the Real World.”

Hot Tip: Don’t miss the 2015 Chelimsky Forum when Abe Wandersman delivers his plenary address “Achieving Outcomes in a Specific Project: Why Evidence Based Interventions are not Sufficient and Why Evaluation is Key” with remarks by discussant Mary Dixon Woods. The 2015 EERS conference will be held April 26-28 in Galloway, NJ – just outside of Atlantic City. Watch for the YouTube video of the Chelimsky Forum to be posted shortly thereafter.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS) Affiliate Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from EERS members. 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.

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