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YFE TIG Week: Engaging with Youth and Young Emerging Evaluators by Cassandra Backman

Hi Everyone! I am Cassandra Backman, the Eval4Action representative for the Eval4Action North America Hub and a EvalYouth North America Board Member. The Eval4Action North America Hub in collaboration with EvalYouth North America has been working to engage those in evaluation roles to involve youth and young emerging evaluators in their work. We strive to support and drive evaluators and organizations to engage youth and young emerging evaluators in evaluation. During May 2022, Eval4Action launched its global campaign, Youth in Evaluation. I would like to share a few hot tips and practical examples in which you can join the campaign and begin engaging youth in evaluation.

Lessons Learned

Here are examples we have come up with to help engage youth and emerging evaluators:

Make it easier for youth to find opportunities to advance their evaluation career.

  • Example, EvalYouth’s Kumu map of programs and opportunities in evaluation

Host events, panels, discussions where youth can ask questions and be part of the discussion.

  • Example, An EvalYouth gLocal Week event where experienced evaluators were interviewed about their career journey

Engage youth and young emerging evaluators in professional development and break down barriers they may face to entering the evaluation field.

  • Example, at the American Evaluation Association Conference (AEA) 2022 EvalYouth facilitated the free pre-conference workshop called Evaluation Activation and Career Development in Evaluation

Learn from other organizations and professionals about what they are doing and why they are engaging youth in evaluation.

  • Example, Social media posts using #Eval4Action highlighted how our evaluation community is supporting Youth in Evaluation and other professionals
  • Example, An AEA Conference 2022 Presidential strand: Reshaping evaluation by enhancing meaningful participation of youth in evaluation panel

Although the change we hope to achieve is a long process, it cannot be done alone in a silo. We continue to learn and grow from one another and our efforts, so start thinking about how you can engage youth in evaluation.

Hot Tips

You can help us put our mission into practice, while engaging youth and emerging evaluators by:

  1. By joining Eval4Action’s Youth in Evaluation campaign and signing the manifesto, you commit to a world where youth and young emerging evaluators have a voice and a role in evaluation, promoting a more equitable and socially just world. I would like to share a few hot tips and practical examples in which you can join the campaign and begin engaging youth in evaluation. Join individuals and organizations from North America and sign the manifesto:
    • By signing the manifesto, I/We commit to promote the Sustainable Development Goals by promoting social justice and equity in the world. To do this you/we will recognize youth’s import contributions to the global evaluation culture, accept that it is my/our duty to engage youth in evaluation, commit to strategic efforts aimed at building youth’s capacity in evaluation by including them throughout the process as key informants, co-evaluators, advisors, decision makers, and advocates. I/We acknowledge that this will require long term commitment to reflecting and growing the process in which I/We engage youth in evaluation.
  2. Follow and read Eval4Action’s Walk the Talk Blog which highlights how individuals and organizations are engaging youth in the process.
  3. Follow EvalYouth North America on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  4. Share your experience and strategies for engaging youth in evaluation. Eval4Action has communication materials ready for use.
  5. Implement a commitment by making a plan with your colleagues or organization, or join Eval4Action task force and make standards for engaging youth in evaluation. Contact us for more details.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Youth Focused Evaluation (YFE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the YFE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our YFE 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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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