Hello, we are Shannon Williams, Research Manager at Rebuilding Together, Allison Schachter, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor at Pathfinder International, and Tyler Spenser, Founder and President of The Grassroot Project. Together, we are the three inaugural recipients of the Washington Evaluators New Professional Scholarship program established in 2017.
The goal of this scholarship program is to strengthen the sustainability of the local evaluation community by supporting new professionals in integrating evaluation practices and approaches within their respective organizations. Through this scholarship opportunity, Washington Evaluators provides funding to cover the cost of annual memberships with the Washington Evaluators and the American Evaluation Association, as well as the registration fee for the annual American Evaluation Association conference (held in Washington, DC this past November).
Lessons Learned: Why the Washington Evaluators Professional Scholarship Works
- Access to networking opportunities: For Tyler, the “stamp of approval” that came with the scholarship helped him get a foot in the door in terms of networking with other evaluators and advancing the monitoring and evaluation goals of the organization he runs. The day the scholarship was announced, he received several congratulatory emails from members of Washington Evaluators who were interested in talking about collaboration.
- Introduction to new resources: Prior to attending the conference, Allison often found herself searching online for guidance and best practices in developing evaluation strategies. The conference provided new frameworks that she could apply immediately to her work at Pathfinder International, including a step-by-step guide to building a strategy.
- Further enhance skillsets: For Shannon, being able to attend many of the sessions focused on data visualization helped her strengthen her reporting skills and ensure that her research findings are reaching their target audiences. The advice received during a session focused specifically on crafting effective one-pagers has proven particularly fruitful to increasing her colleagues’ awareness and use of her reports.
- Learn how you too can craft an effective one-pager to engage your busy stakeholders following the EvaluATE approach.
- Presentation slides from the “How to develop a strategic plan: what it is and what it is not” session at the November 2017 AEA conference.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Washington Evaluators (WE) Affiliate Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from WE Affiliate 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.