The biweekly ‘So What?’ guide highlights advice, events, and tips — mostly from the advocacy and evaluation worlds, selected by the Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program.
It’s Time to Speak Truth to Power at the AEA
Next week APEP is heading off to Cleveland, Ohio, for the annual conference of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), a professional association of 7,300 evaluators in the US and 80+ foreign countries. APEP is excited to be partnering with recent and current clients on two sessions (deets below) that resonate with the conference’s theme: Speaking Truth to Power. We hope to see you there!
AEA Session 1: What Is the Impact of Facts?
Thanks to many intrepid evaluators, we can now draw on a range of handy tools and approaches when assessing an advocate’s contribution within the complex system of actors and forces that influence most policymaking processes. But what do we do when our evaluand is a nonpartisan “fact tank”? How can we assess contribution to ambitious yet conceptually squishy outcomes like “sound decision making” or “an enriched public dialogue”? Well, if you love squishy as much as we do, join us for our upcoming AEA panel on just this topic. Who: APEP’s Deputy Director Susanna Dilliplane and the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Director of Evaluation and Research Nicole Trentacoste. What: We’ll be discussing a recent evaluation of the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project. When: Thursday, November 1, 2:45-3:30 pm. Where: Hilton – Center St. Meeting Room D. Why: Because you’ll already have eaten lunch and it’ll be too early for happy hour.
AEA Session 2: Can We Shift (Some) Power from Silicon Valley to, say, Lusaka, Zambia?
The Hewlett Foundation has been based in Silicon Valley since Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard were still running a company you might have heard of. The Foundation’s commitment to reproductive health and rights goes back to its beginning. APEP’s own David Devlin-Foltz and consultant Rhonda Schlangen will team up with the Foundation’s Althea Anderson, PAI’s Allie Doody, and the Centre for Reproductive Health and Education‘s Amos Mwale to discuss our evaluation of the Foundation’s sub-strategy for Supporting Local Advocacy in sub-Saharan Africa. The Foundation’s approach seeks to shift control over the advocacy agenda and capacity development to the advocates closest to the issues. But how do we know it is happening? Join us Friday, November 2, 2:15-3:15 pm in Hilton – Center St. Meeting Room D to find out.
Reminder: Breakfast Is Coming!
We are renewing our highly irregular series of Aspen Evaluation Breakfasts November 15 from 8:15 to 9:45 AM at our Aspen Institute offices: 2300 N St NW in Washington DC. We’ll feature friend of APEP Edith Asibey talking about how understanding habits can help us communicate more effectively via digital and social media. Edith says We Can Do Better Than Likes and Shares: What Advocates Need to Know to Spark and Sustain Action. We’ll live stream Edith’s talk – but we can’t live stream the almond croissants, people. Early birds are welcome to register here!