OL-ECB Week: Joseph E. Bauer on Being an Internal Evaluator

Hi, I’m Joe Bauer, the director of Survey Research in the Statistics & Evaluation Center at the American Cancer Society – National Home Office in Atlanta, Georgia.  I have been working as an internal evaluator for almost seven years, in one of the most dynamic, challenging, and rewarding positions that I have ever had.

Lesson Learned:

Remember who the focus is.  I came to the American Cancer Society to have an impact at a national level.  Each and every day my focus is on doing everything I can to benefit cancer patients, their caregivers, and their family.  Using that as my rubric helps me determine what is important enough to spend the majority of my time and effort on.  In addition, our work also has a fiduciary responsibility to our donors – so my work always involves being as cost-efficient as possible.

Hot Tips:

Do nothing you cannot defend.  Be a team player and always play nice in the sand box, however, do not compromise your values.  This is crucially important – because you always need to do the right thing.  Keep your integrity – because that is something you need to own throughout your career.

Evaluator’s adage:  Life is not fair and life is not easy.  Keeping your integrity will be difficult at times and it will not always be easy to do the right thing.  When you least expect it – you will be challenged by ethical dilemmas.  There will be no comfort, aside from the fact that many other evaluators have experienced these pressures and come out the other side.  No matter how you come out on the other side – these challenges will be with you the rest of your life – they make you who you are.

Always take the high road and always push for quality.  There will be others who want you to compromise on quality and take short cuts.  There are always time and monetary considerations on any project – wrestle with getting as much quality into your endeavors as you can – give every client your very best – because it is your work products that define you and tell people what you stand for.

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association’s Guiding Principles for Evaluators – which are intended to guide the professional practice of evaluators, and inform evaluation clients and the general public about the principles they can expect to be upheld by professional evaluators.

The National Center for Professional & Research Ethics brings together information on best practices in research, academia, and business in an on-line portal and Center.  The Center is in the process of developing, gathering, preserving, and providing comprehensive access to resources related to professional and research ethics for multiple audiences.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building (OL-ECB) TIG Week with our colleagues in the OL-ECB AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our OL-ECB 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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