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GBEN Affiliate Week: The Affiliate is the Organization by Sarah Faude and Danelle Marable

Hello and welcome to the Greater Boston Evaluation Network (GBEN) take-over week! We are Dr. Sarah Faude (she/her), Director of Research and Evaluation at YW Boston, and Danelle Marable (she/her), Director of Evaluation and Data at Beth Israel Lahey Health and we are both members of the GBEN Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. GBEN is an affiliate of AEA, with nearly 150 members in the metropolitan Boston area. We are an all volunteer 501(c)3 organization that is supported by members and their dues.

As we brainstormed this week’s content we wanted to ensure that you would walk away with  specific strategies and tools. What can an AEA affiliate share with the evaluation profession, besides a network? We realized that in running an affiliate (non-profit status or not) we share many of the same opportunities and challenges of the organizations we work for or support outside of our affiliate. In GBEN, we’ve created protocols, strategies, and tools to help us manage our organization and its members, which will drive the organization of the posts this week. These topics include:

  • Using the principles of Emergent Strategy to to lead an inclusive community of evaluation practitioners
  • Creating a DEI plan that is actionable and permeates the organization
  • Recruitment and retention through community and engagement
  • Making equitable decisions across the organization
  • Creating dynamic spaces to discuss equitable evaluation
  • Creating mutually-beneficial partnerships

Throughout this week, we hope to share what we’ve learned over the past 15 years. We’ve transformed from an informal roundtable of internal evaluators looking for thought partners to a dues-collecting network for all evaluators and those in evaluation-adjacent fields who want to increase their skills and network – all the while working to ensure our work remains up to date with developments and debates in our field and leads the way on equity and justice informed evaluation. We are still trying to balance our scrappy, island of one natures with infrastructure and policies.  We hope you can take these learnings back to your affiliate and/or organizations you work with in order to advance their cause.

Enjoy the GBEN take-over week!

Rad Resource:

We are not perfect, but we admit mistakes and learn from them. Having open and honest communication helps with transparency, humility, and progress. Here is a great guide on Norms for Courageous Conversations from Cultures Connecting. 

Rad Resource:

GBEN engaged with the Lawyers Clearinghouse to help us file for 501(c)3 status and create By-Laws and Conflict of Interest forms for a small nominal fee.  Look for something similar in your area.

The American Evaluation Association is hosting the Greater Boston Evaluation Network (GBEN) Affiliate Week. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from GBEN 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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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