Honoring the Work of Evaluation for Labor Day by Sheila B Robinson

Hello! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365 Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. I’m composing this post in a somewhat leisurely fashion, enjoying a 3-day weekend as Monday September 4 is Labor Day in the US. As a public school district employee my entire career, I’ve always enjoyed my time off on this day, but I also stop to remember and appreciate all of those who do not get to enjoy Labor Day as a holiday including:

  • hospital personnel
  • law enforcement
  • first responders
  • nursing home personnel
  • group home personnel
  • airline personnel

These are just a few who will report for work on Monday in service to the public along with the millions of retail workers tending to Labor Day vacationers’ insatiable desire for sale prices on home electronics or linens.

Lesson Learned: Since 1894, Labor Day has been celebrated the first Monday in September. Created by the labor movement, this holiday “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country” (US Department of Labor).

I thank Michael Quinn Patton for the idea of dedicating a week of aea365 blog posts to Labor Day. In 2016, we set aside two weeks to honor evaluators – evaluation’s workforce. Check out our aea365 archive to read those posts! This year, we are highlighting the work of evaluation for Labor Day. We invited contributors to write a post on the work of evaluation that goes on behind the scenes and is often underappreciated.

This week, our authors will acknowledge the labor of evaluation and help us learn more about:

  • engaging stakeholders
  • the “dirty work” of evaluation: data cleaning
  • keeping the work of evaluation going
  • working with policymakers and the legislative decision-making process.
  • addressing bias, discrimination and barriers faced by marginalized people in communities and institutions
  • infusing love and relationships into evaluation work

Let’s not forget too, that there are undoubtedly many, many evaluators who will be at home on Monday writing evaluation plans, conducting literature reviews, designing protocols, analyzing data, writing reports, and emailing stakeholders.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy Labor Day!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring the WORK of evaluation. The contributions this week are tributes to the behind the scenes and often underappreciated work evaluators do. 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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