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The 2021 Annual Call for Blog Posts by Sheila B. Robinson

Greetings aea365 readers AND authors! I’m Sheila B Robinson, Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. Recently, I wrote this post asking what you would like to read on aea365 in 2021.

Thanks to those who offered ideas! Now, I’m writing to ask YOU to consider contributing on one of these, or any other evaluation-related topics.

Lesson Learned: Readers suggestions include:

  • CEBE, Data Viz, Org. Learning and Eval. Capacity Building, and Quant.
  • I’ve enjoyed so many great posts this year, including the ones that address equity. I would like to learn more about how evaluators identify their audiences and how they build the evaluation from start to finish with that audience in mind. (Sometimes I get the impression that evaluations don’t have clear audiences and I think that’s a huge risk if we want evaluations that are useful.)
  • Evaluating program or organization resilience before the next crisis hits.
  • OKRs, just a fad? Or a good framework for evaluating outcomes?
  • What’s new (or old and still relevant) with the Baldrige Criteria.
  • Visualization and storytelling to communicate evaluation results.
  • Work-life balance for evaluators (especially, but not only, during the pandemic). How can we work in a way that fosters well being and inclusion in evaluation teams, taking into account the diverse needs of people and their care responsibilities?
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion. Allyship training, strategic plans for diversity and inclusion (at the federal level they are DISPs – are there other such efforts within governments? What are good approaches to measuring success?), addressing systemic racism with an un-convinced crowd, etc.
  • A “Performance Management and Reviews For Evaluators Week” that provides recommendations on how evaluators should complete their performance reviews for jobs or contracts.
  • More about CREE (culturally-responsive and equitable evaluation) and about anti-racist evaluation theory & practice. Also … ways to adapt participatory methodologies for virtual spaces. I loved the series on focus groups & interviews, and would like to see something similar for other types of qualitative methods (new and old).

We also learned about the type of posts readers enjoy:

  • Shorter ones that summarize key take-aways and include links to other resources that I can use for greater depth.
  • Articles on the “how to…” (methodologies, approaches, case studies, tools, etc.) from the “real world”.

Hot Tip: We’d love to hear from YOU!  Please send a draft for consideration.

Hot Tip: You don’t have to be an expert to contribute! Readers want to hear from everyday evaluators. You don’t need to be doing something unusual or cutting edge. Share how a strategy has worked for you. Share what you’re learning about and experimenting with. Share a lesson you’ve learned. Tell about a book you’ve read, a course you took, or an experience that gave you new insight.

Cool Trick: Follow contribution guidelines! See the link right up there…near the top of your screen? We can only publish posts that adhere to these guidelines.

Get Involved: It’s time to share YOUR insights with aea365 readers! We rely on hundreds of generous authors who have contributed over the past 11 years (!) to keep this blog going. As you can imagine, collecting 365 articles each year is no small task.

Is this the year YOU decide to contribute?

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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