I caught up with Laurie Stevehn after her full-day workshop: Strategies for Interactive Evaluation, which she presented with Jean King to an engaged and eager group of evaluators who came from a diverse background of cultures and work settings.
Why did you choose this topic for Evaluation 2016?
Laurie has spent 20-25 years working in participatory evaluation for capacity building and thinks evaluatively about bringing people together. This workshop draws on the strategies and methods covered in Interactive Evaluation Practice: Mastering the Interpersonal Dynamics of Program Evaluation which she co-authored with Jean King. No matter your approach to evaluation, you have to engage and interact with people. This workshops helps attendees identify best approaches that can be applied to organizations or programs. In this workshop attendees think through the strategies so when they walk out of the doors, they now have a plan in place.
Did you learn anything form other’s experiences?
The attendees in Laurie’s workshop were very engaging and eager to share their experiences and examples from their practices. Sometimes the experience was a variation on the strategies presented and sometimes the attendee’s brought their own challenges. In today’s workshop, Jean and Laurie spent time discussing the challenge of dominant personalities and how to handle these situations while keeping the conversation inclusive.
What are you looking forward to at the conference?
While in Atlanta, Laurie is excited to attend sessions that deal with participatory evaluation and have lots of engagement. She enjoys sessions that share the most recent research on evaluation. She is particularly looking forward to seeing Mel Mark and Michael Quinn Patton who are great theorist and stay on top of research on evaluation.
How do you benefit from AEA?
Laurie has been an AEA Member since 1995. She always finds AEA members friendly and ready to share. The key leaders in evaluations make themselves readily available and accessible to all attendees. She finds it humbling to be a part of an organization and community that focuses so much on the greater good for humanity and community.
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