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FIE TIG Week: Excellent Sessions You Might Have Missed from the FIE TIG at AEA 2018 by Christine Bell

Welcome to the annual Feminist Issues in Evaluation TIG week! I am Christine Bell, program co-chair for the FIE TIG and evaluator at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. For the theme of this week I have selected several “excellent sessions you might have missed” from AEA 2018 in the spirit of the “call for presentations” time of year. This week’s authors are FIE TIG members and conference contributors that gave inspiring presentations at AEA 2018 and I wanted to give them another opportunity to share their important messages with AEA more widely than the 10-130 people that were able to attend the sessions.

The content of this week’s blog posts  speak to the main topics of discussion that came out of the Birds of a Feather session entitled The time is now: claiming space for feminist issues in evaluation.

Lessons Learned: I had the privilege of co-facilitating a discussion amongst a table of 10 international participants. We began by discussing what the current global political and social climate has to do with evaluators and evaluation. Discussion included acknowledgement of how evaluators and individuals in the communities we serve are impacted by the #metoo movement and how AEA has the opportunity to address and prevent harassment. It is now known that AEA will be implementing a code of conduct but it is important to ensure the code is continuously supported by members and enforced by leadership.

The Birds of a Feather participants also discussed the visibility of women in leadership in AEA and our hope to see more feminist evaluation presentations in the presidential strand.

Another urgent topic related to feminist evaluation is the importance of gathering data and necessity of being able to disaggregate data by gender, while acknowledging the complexity of codifying gender constructs. One participant shared examples of GBA+ application in evaluation  and how the process and products are  being used.

Intersectionality emerged as an overarching theme in the Birds of a Feather discussion. As feminist evaluators , intersectionality is prominent on our evaluation radars. We embrace its importance in bringing to the forefront multiple identity factors and how they interact with systems to maintain and perpetuate various oppressions. More hard implementation work ahead in demonstrating how feminist evaluation can benefit all people.

Hot Tip: Get Involved!

Lastly, we discussed personal ways to take action and make a difference. Some suggestions are to have timely discussions, ground them in research; and then write, publish, cite feminist evaluation authors and present about these important and relevant feminist evaluation topics.

I hope you enjoy and learn something new from this forthcoming week’s series of posts based on “excellent sessions you might have missed” that speak to some of the most relevant topics in feminist evaluation. I also hope they inspire you to write, cite, and present on feminist topics such as those discussed or your own.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Feminist Issues in Evaluation (FIE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the FIE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our FIE TIG 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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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