Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Australian Evaluation Society Empowerment Evaluation Keynote

Australian Evaluation Society:  
Empowerment Evaluation Keynote


I was invited to present an Empowerment Evaluation Keynote at the Australian Evaluation Society's International Conference in Sydney. Many thanks for all the kind words about my plenary presentation - both funny and informative works for me. I had a good time and it was an honor to be invited to speak to the issue of indigenous rights and concerns. 


There was an electricity in the air.  Colleagues were completely engaged and the applause was both welcoming and celebratory.  LinkedIn and Facebook posts about the plenary were thoughtful and uniformly complementary. 





Australian Evaluation Society 
Annual Conference Closing Session


The discussion was lively and summarized many of the issues raised during the conference.
Indigenous IP rights and empowerment topics dominated the discussion.  However, a few topics were touchy, including a discussion about RCTs, however, it was civil and engaging. 


Australian Evaluation Society 
Annual Conference Empowerment Evaluation Workshop


I also conducted a workshop on Thursday and it was filled to maximum capacity.  
The dialogue was powerful focusing on indigenous rights.


According to a few of the participants:  "As emerging evaluators, we are constantly looking to explore and learn about concepts and theories of evaluation. In the lead up to the Australia Evaluation Society (AES) International Evaluation Conference, we had particularly been exposed to certain principles associated with ‘Empowerment Evaluation’ such as capacity building and inclusion in our project work. This triggered our fascination around the approach and so the three of us attended David Fetterman’s Empowerment Evaluation Workshop.
We gained our first impressions of David Fetterman while observing him on Day One of the Conference. By watching him walk around to all the stalls, introducing himself and having frank conversations, he established that he was ‘down to earth’ from the start. Another feature noticed was his charismatic charm – how he could draw a crowd together. By the time he got around to the ARTD booth, he had us all captured in conversation with him. It was very refreshing to meet such a humble character who was a keynote speaker, but who also took the time to connect with everyone at the conference. This was truly inspiring for us three, as relatively young and emerging evaluators, to receive this kind of attention from someone with an amazing reputation in the field.
This connection really motivated us to ‘take the journey to climb the mountain’ that is empowerment evaluation. We attended his workshop and took away the following."
Their summary is available in the ARTD Consultants' newsletter.

Ethnography: Step by Step (4th) edition is coming out in October. 
It provides a wealth of concepts and tools that can be used in empowerment evaluations.


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