Hi Jenny! Glad to see another fellow social work evaluator!
@R8chLawrence I would love that! I actually graduated from UMass Amherst with my M.Ed and MPPA in 2017–I’m almost certain we’ve seen each other around.
I’m Jenna van Draanen. I’ve done some independent consulting over the years and have also worked as an evaluator within several research institutions. I’m currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia and the BC Centre on Substance Use and I do a combination of research and evaluation mostly in the substance use/mental health space. I got my PhD in Public Health from UCLA so I’ve spent time on both sides of the US/Canada border and done a bit of evaluation in both countries.
I came to evaluation because there was a need for it in the community groups I was working with and it matched my skill set and interests nicely (hello, fellow data nerds ). I am glad to see the many other folks on this thread who are also interested in social justice within evaluation, that’s where my evaluation heart lies too.
People come to me when they need a good theory of change, when they need advice about analysis plans, and when they need a good acronym for a project. Nice to meet you all!
Hi there! I’m Robyn McLean from Tapestry Evaluation and Strategy. I discovered evaluation in the final year of my undergrad in psych and poli sci, and like a few others here it was love at first sight. I worked as a program coordinator for a few years, spanning the evaluation and applied research worlds. After that I got my masters in Health Promotion and was able to brush up my qualitative research skills studying a court and community based program to help re-integrate people with addictions back into the community. I then worked for a few years as an evaluation specialist with a health authority, went to India to join an evaluation capacity building project in the education sector, and launched a consulting business in 2013.
I am most passionate about how evaluation can support meaningful change in the world, and focus on finding methods to support efforts at that big picture level. So far, developmental evaluation, evaluation rubrics, and contribution analysis have stood out to me as the best fits, as do evaluation of partnerships and collective impact. I have focused most on the food and agriculture sector recently. I am in the early stages of developing a course on meaningful social change, and have a passion project of developing a master theory of change for transforming economics and community for increased connections with ourselves, each other and the natural world.
Hi Everyone. I drive people and organizations through the streets of the messy middle. My biggest claim to fame is teaching chickens how to fly. And making killer coffee mugs.
I’ve got an MA in Sociology from Essex University. I studied Information Technology, Culture and Technology. I love stories. I’m a narrative person.
I’ll be around as a conversation catalyst and a benevolent moderator.
I’m Monique Farone, an internal evaluator at a local health department just outside Atlanta, Georgia.
I was first introduced to evaluation via my Master’s in Public Health program. After graduating and then spending a few years in research, I realized I wanted more of the classes I loved the most - program eval, needs assessments, and the like. I got super lucky and managed to find my current position - which actually has the word “evaluation” in it and made the job search nice and simple at the time.
I’m very interested in evaluation facilitation, capacity building, and finding ways to share information so that it’s engaging and free of jargon.
People have recently come to me for help with creating infographics, surveys, database development, and general evaluation planning.
My name is Zach Tilton and I’m a student and Doctoral Research Associate at Western Michigan University in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation Program. I am setting and pursuing an agenda for research on peacebuilding evaluation. I am also conducting research on evaluation and technology and serve as the Co-chair for the Integrating Technology into Evaluation Topical Interest Group for AEA.
My entry point into evaluation was international development, specifically youth develooment, while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. After the Peace Corps I worked on multiple internal evaluation units for peacebuilding organizations and continued to specialize in peacebuilding evaluation professionally and academically.
I provide evaluation consulting for the Digital Impact Alliance, which specializes in using technology to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals. I am also an associate at Everyday Peace Indicators, an organization that specializes in participatory peacebuilding evaluation. People come to me for support with internal and external evaluation for tech-enabled international development and peacebuilding interventions.
Looking forward to learning alongside you all and joining you all in building an inclusive digital community of evaluation practitioners.
I’m currently doing a PhD at the University of Nottingham and I’m in the writing up stage. I’m part time but hope to complete next year.
I’ve set out to conduct a realist evaluation of rurally based community stroke services in England. I wish to continue working in evaluation when I graduate. I’m currently writing up the results from my three case studies.
Looking forward to learning from all of you
I would say that I came into research and evaluation organically–from my experience as an urban educator, being on the client side in non-profit management, and in museum management. Along the way, I took a keen interest in how evaluation can uncover key findings and inform decisions with confidence (and, of course, introduce new, important questions)!
Now, I work at Slover Linett Audience Research, a niche firm that seeks to help organizations in the cultural sector, broadly defined, to understand their audiences. And not just their demographics, but their values, needs, engagement styles, attendance patterns–how they experience what you offer, emotionally, cognitively, socially, physically.
Always learning. Always questioning. Glad to be a part of this conversation! Nancy
I am Renata, based in Rome and working at Office of Evaluation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. I am quite new to this world but getting into it deeper day after day as I facilitate a Community of Practice on Evaluation called EVAL-ForwARD, which specifically focuses on evaluation for food security, agriculture and rural development.
My areas of interest are knowledge management and communication on evaluation, supporting exchanges among evaluators’ practitioners and non-evaluators, awareness raising on evaluation and its contribution to policies, and expanding the outreach and visibility of evaluation findings and approaches.
People come to me for advice on communities of practice and online knowledge sharing, to find dissemination channels and on communication in general.
I am happy to be part of this new community and learn from you all.
Warm greetings from a humid day spring day in Kansas City, Kansas & Missouri (our building sits on the border with an entrance in KS and back exit in MO).
I’m Becky Findley, International Evaluation Manager at Unbound, an international development agency that focuses on supporting individuals and families living in poverty in goal achievement through long-term, personalized support.
I was given the opportunity to work in evaluation by chance. I applied for a different position. When they noticed my background in social work and international development they instead invited to interview for the evaluation role, which had not yet been posted. Seven years later and I’m still grateful my resume made its way to the evaluation department.
I love the challenging puzzles that real-world, multi-site, global evaluations present. I’m passionate about making evaluation an accessible tool for all. Oh, and making a strong, understandable, message driven data-viz is such a fun way to spend a morning/afternoon/day at work.
Hi, I’m Sami.
I’m an independent evaluation consultant based in New York City. My background is in Social Anthropology. I was facilitating a focus group 6 years ago when somebody asked me to be the developmental evaluator for a burgeoning Early Childhood network and I’ve been on this road ever since.
I am particularly interested in the messy early days of initiatives, projects where evaluation plays a crucial role in informing strategy, and building cultures that support learning.
Hi all, my name is Comfort. I’m an Assistant Professor of Public Health at Arcadia University. I got my MPH in maternal and child health from UNC Chapel Hill and my PhD in Health Services Research from UNC Charlotte. I teach undergraduate and graduate program planning and evaluation, and grant writing.
After working for several years in program planning and implementation, I was curious about what made for successful and sustainable international programs, so in the quest for answers I went to graduate school and discovered evaluation. To further develop my evaluation skills, I did the postdoctoral evaluation fellowship at CDC.
For the last five years, I have worked mainly in implementation research and developing/implementing complex evaluations of public health programs. My interests are in sexual and reproductive health, child health and survival, and maternal health. I love theories of change and understanding program pathways to success through process evaluation. I’m also interested in independent consulting.
People mostly come to me with questions on logic models (which they claim to hate!), for mentoring in program design l, and guidance on evaluation and indicators. I’m excited to be here and look forward to engaging.
Hi all! My name is Maria, and I’m essentially an Impact Analyst for a global health nonprofit. I graduated in 2017 from a Masters in Public Health program, and this is essentially my first role in any sort of evaluation capacity. I used to be a lab scientist though, so this has been fun! I didn’t want to work in the lab anymore, but I really loved the process. I was drawn to evaluation originally because it felt like it preserved all of the elements I love about lab science.
Currently, my job has me assessing whether or not we’re doing what we set out to do, and engaging in an iterative process to make our programs better. It’s been fun but challenging!
My background is very quantitative, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about the qualitative aspects of eval. My experiences with qualitative work have been very limited to coursework.
Also, I’m based around the San Francisco Bay Area!
I am Kathryn Lee, and the opening cartoon describes me to a “T.” I am an accidental data analyst, and I’m pretty sure I don’t know nearly enough to warrant that description. And that is why I’m here.
I work in a multi-service non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area (East Bay to be more exact), so I am interested in how to further demonstrate the effectiveness of our services so that we can improve, but also celebrate with the community on the impact we have had working together.
People come to me when they want ideas on improving a process. I provide a lot of technical advice on many things computer.
I am Lisa Raphael, and am currently the Director of Applied Research and Program Evaluation at Communities in Schools of Central TX. Like many others, I fell into evaluation. Throughout grad school, I knew that the academic tenure track life wasn’t for me… After I finished, I started working at the Univ of Illinois at Chicago with a small evaluation group. Since then, I have traveled to a variety of different positions. I also have a small independent consulting practice.
People call me their evaluation counselor or coach. I am a thought partner, a strategist, and a collaborator. Participatory approaches to evaluation are my cup of tea!
Thanks for bringing us together!
I am also a fan of the “messy early days” . Your description reminded me of Scott Belsky’s book the Messy Middle.
There’s a lot inside the messy.
Thanks Paul. I haven’t heard of that book before, I will check it out.
I’m an evaluator in Brisbane, Australia, with a focus on formative & process evaluation for public sector agencies. I’m interested in the intersections between evaluation theory & practice, and the research in public administration/management, on what makes for good thinking and good practice in government.
I’m currently taking a ‘gap year’ from work to study full time in organisation studies. Evaluation pracitioners have the chance to see into organisations in ways that academics and executives can’t, and I think evaluators can learn from and contribute to the academic work in organisational studies.
Hi all! I made an account a while ago but never introduced myself.
My name is Elizabeth Grim and I am based in Connecticut. By day, I have a full time job as the Director of Community Impact with a nonprofit working to increase data literacy and promote data-informed decision making across the state. By night, I am trying to build my independent consulting practice on the side. I welcome any and all tips from those of you who have successfully made that transition.
I like to say that evaluation found me. Growing up I loved math, science, puzzles, and understanding how things work. As I got older, I found myself passionate about social justice and systems change. When I started my career in the social services, I felt like something was missing and I was constantly trying to fix the system. Fast forward a few years when I discovered the evaluation center in my graduate program. I immediately knew these (you all!) were my people and I’ve been hooked ever since. Evaluation is the perfect combination of teaching, learning, writing, and connecting for me.
My primary areas of interest are housing/homelessness, social services, policy and systems change, evaluation capacity building, data visualization, reporting, and utilization-focused evaluation. I’m also very interested in organization development.
People come to me when they are looking to synthesize complex information into easily digestible products, interested in building evaluation capacity, want to brainstorm new ways of doing things, or have an idea for a conference proposal (still trying to make “professional conference attendee” a thing - ha!). I’ve met a lot of my evaluation community and clients through Twitter.
For non-evaluation help - I am often offering friends and colleagues travel and hiking suggestions : )