International Attendees

The American Evaluation Association welcomes attendees from around the world to its annual conference each year. In 2003, over 35 countries were represented at our meeting in Washington, DC. This page is designed to help international attendees learn more about AEA's international outreach, available resources, and ways to make the most of the conference experience. Click on any of the topics below to go directly to more information.

bulletLetters of Invitation
bulletSpecial Internationally-focused Workshop
bulletInternational Travel Awards
bulletSilent Auction
bulletInternational and Cross-cultural Evaluation Topical Interest Group (ICCE TIG)
bulletNametag Ribbons

Letters of Invitation

For many people, letters of invitation help smooth the visa process and we wish to support international attendees in their efforts to secure the needed travel documentation. However, in order to receive a letter of invitation, AEA must have some assurance that you intend to attend the annual conference if your travel request is granted. Letters will be issued to those meeting any ONE of the following criteria:

1. You have been a member of AEA since prior to 12/31/02
2. You are scheduled to present at the annual conference
3. You have completed and paid for 2003 conference registration
4. You have won an AEA international travel award
5. You can provide evidence of your work or study in the field of evaluation

If you require a letter of invitation in order to attend the annual conference, please email the following information to Heidi Nye in the AEA office at

1. An indication of which of the five criteria above you meet, including documentation of your work or study in the field of evaluation if you meet only criteria #5
2. The full address that should appear on the letter
3. The name and title of the person to whom the letter should be addressed
4. Whether you prefer that the letter be mailed or faxed (and provide a fax number if the latter is preferred)
5. Any other information that you believe is needed in order to process your request for a letter or to develop the letter of invitation. Click here to see a sample letter.

Letters of invitation will be either faxed or mailed via the US Postal Service using standard international delivery. Due to the costs involved, AEA cannot send letters of invitation via courier or express mail services. We strongly encourage you to make your request at the earliest date possible. Requests received after October 15 may not be able to be honored. Letters of invitation are sent within three working days of receipt of all requested information. If you have questions about obtaining a letter of invitation, please direct them to Heidi Nye in the AEA office via email at or via phone at 508-748-3326.

Special Internationally-focused Workshop

On Tuesday, November, 4, 2003 there will be a special full-day workshop that precedes the AEA annual conference. Facilitated by professionals with extensive experience working in developing countries and countries in transition, the workshop explores the "Shoestring Evaluation Approach" that has a proven track record for delivering essential evaluative data on a limited budget.

There is a separate registration fee to attend the Shoestring workshop, but registration may be done at the same time - and on the same online or hardcopy form - as conference registration. If you wish to add this workshop after your registration materials have already been submitted,  please call (508-748-3326) or email ( the AEA office with your request. 

The description for the Shoestring Evaluation workshop is below, and the descriptions for all of the 38 workshops offered in conjunction with the conference may be found by clicking here. Since this workshop is on Tuesday, you may attend it and still register for any of the Wednesday or Sunday workshops if you wish.

Shoestring Evaluation: Overcoming Constraints

What do you do when asked to perform an evaluation on a program that is well underway? When time and resources are few, yet expectations high? When quest-ions about baseline data and control groups are met with blank stares? The Shoestring Evaluation approach seeks to ensure the best quality evaluation under real-life constraints.

Through presentations and discussion, with real-world examples drawn from international develop­ment evaluation, you will study the Shoestring Evaluation approach. The workshop focuses on developing country evaluation, but the techniques are applicable to evaluators working in any context with budget, time, and data constraints.

You will learn:

§  The six steps of the Shoestring Evaluation approach,

§  Ways to reduce the costs and time of data collection,

§  How to reconstruct baseline and control group data,

§  Methods for addressing threats to validity and accuracy of findings.


Michael Bamberger and Lucia Fort of the World Bank, and Jim Rugh of CARE International, will draw upon their experience in international training and application of the Shoestring Method.


Session 9: Shoestring Evaluation

Prerequisites: Basic evaluation skills and field experience

Scheduled: 11/4, 9 am to 4 pm

Level: Intermediate

Fee: Members $150, Nonmembers $200, Students $80

International Travel Awards

Since 1998, members of the AEA and friends have supported silent auctions (see below) at the annual conference to raise money to help evaluators from developing countries, and countries in transition, to attend the annual meeting. These funds are awarded via competitive review of proposals and this year's awards were for $1200 each. The proposal deadline for competing for a travel award for 2003 was March 15. We are very pleased to announce that this year's winners are:


§  D.J.G. (Bertie) Burger, South Africa, University of Stellenbosch
§  Daniel Brandão, Brazil, Instituto Fonte
§  Lyudmila Vladiko, Russia, Dept of Social Protection of the Population of Administration 
§  Muhammed Liman, Namibia, USAID / Academy for Educational Development (AED)

The travel awards winners will be speaking about their work during the conference on Thursday, November 6, from 3:20 pm to 4:50 pm in the Genoa room.

To learn more about the process and criteria for the travel awards, please go to: Information about the 2004 travel award program will be posted on this website on or about January 2, 2004 and we expect the deadline to be approximately the same - March 15.

Silent Auction

The International and Cross-cultural Topical Interest Group hosts the Friday evening reception and Silent Auction at the annual conference. This networking event runs from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm on Friday, November 7, and features donations from over 100 attendees. The funds raised from the silent auction support travel awards for international attendees from developing nations and countries in transition (see above). Past auctions have featured such items as books signed by prominent authors, Massai spears, wines from the Pacific Northwest, nesting Russian dolls, Colombian coffee, a Chinese tea set, and a weekend getaway in Hawaii. Attendees may bid via writing their offer on the paper provided in front of the item of interest.

We encourage you to consider bringing a donation from your country to support this wonderful event and the travel scholarship funds it generates. If you know in advance, please send a note indicating what you will be bringing to Craig Russon at Dr. Russon will be running the auction this year and he promotes the event by including a list of what will be there as an enticement. That list will also be posted here as the conference draws closer. If you are not sure in advance, something brought at the last moment is a wonderful and welcome surprise. All donations may be turned in at the AEA conference registration desk.

Like all AEA receptions, admission to the Friday reception and silent auction, as well as the food served, is included as part of your conference registration. Drinks may be purchased via a cash bar. We look forward to seeing you there!

Here is a partial list of donations:

Commemorative T-shirts from IOCE Inaugural Assembly   ( Ada Ocampo & PREVAL)

Malaysian key chains   (Aru Rasappan)

Tape recording of Barry MacDonald’s Summer Hill School evaluation   (Craig Russon)

Wildlife trophy from South Africa    (D.J.G. ‘Bertie’ Burger)

CREATE conference T-shirt   (The Evaluation Center)

California wine  (Saumitra SenGupta)

Maori kite and Greenstone necklace  (W. Gillespie)

Surprise  (Megh Thapa)

New Zealand handicrafts from exotic local woods  (Michael Scriven)

Kenyan handicrafts  (Karen Odhiambo)

Italian wine from the Trentino Alto Adige region  (Marco Segone)

2 copies of each of IDRC's publication list  (Sarah Earl)

Authentic, handmade, Hawaiian blanket  (Matt Seymour)

Handicrafts from Bangladesh  (Ana Coghlan)

Night at the Sugar Magnolia Bed and Breakfast  (James Emshoff)

Signed books  (Michael Quinn Patton)

2 signed evaluation & learning organization books  (Hallie Preskill)

Kilwin's Chocolate Basket  (Nanette Keiser)

Brazilian Popular Music CD's and a special brazilian t-shirt  (Rogerio Silva)

Brazilian coffee and signed book written in Portugese  (Thomaz Chianca)

Mount Gay Extra Old Rum  (Captain Paul Morgan)

Rosa d'amore wine  (Karen Russon)

Oil painting, pen and ink drawing, Escher print, etc.  (Carolyn Sullins)

Brazilian Pinga and other surprises  (Daniel Brandao)

3 T-shirts  (San Francisco Bay Area Evaluators)

3 bags Kona coffee  (Lois-ellin Datta)

International and Cross-cultural Topical Interest Group (ICCE TIG)

The International and Cross-cultural Topical Interest Group focuses on knowledge and information sharing about evaluation in the areas of:

§  International settings, policies and programs, with emphasis on developing countries

§  Economic, social, and human development programs and projects

§  Cross-cultural programs and projects.

At the conference, the ICCE TIG sponsors a strand of sessions focusing on their areas of interest. Under each session listed in the program, you can find its TIG sponsor. This is a great way to narrow down selections during the timeslots when you have over 20 sessions from which to choose! The full program will be posted online in September. The full list of TIGs may be found by clicking here.


One session of special interest this year is a Think Tank entitled "Increasing International and Cross-Cultural Participation in the American Evaluation Association." This session will be held from on Thursday, November 6, from 9:25 am to 10:55 am in Section E of the Southern Pacific Room. We encourage you to attend this session and contribute your voice toward making AEA as internationally inclusive as possible.

Nametag Ribbons

When you check in at the conference registration desk, you will receive your hardcopy program and nametag. Next to the registration desk, there is a table with ribbons and registrants are encouraged to select whatever ribbons they feel are appropriate and affix them to their nametags. Most of AEA's Topical Interest Groups have ribbons available. This year, we will also have ribbons available to represent the country from which you hail. Please register early to ensure that we order ribbons for your country.

The nametag ribbons serve as a wonderful networking tool throughout the conference. Use them to identify the topical interests of people that you meet. Your country ribbon is sure to start up conversation about evaluation, and life, in your part of the world.


All attendees and presenters must pay for registration at Evaluation 2003. The easiest approach for many international attendees is to register online using a Mastercard or Visa credit card if one is available to you. You may also download the registration form and send it in with a check made out to the "American Evaluation Association" and drawn in US funds. We recommend that you browse through the rest of this site, especially the information about professional development workshops, our frequently asked questions pages, and the hotel, prior to registering.

Online registration, as well as the downloadable forms, may be accessed at

Registration for the conference may also be completed on site in Reno/Sparks using cash, a check drawn in US funds, or a Mastercard or Visa. However, please note that registration fees go up by $40 on October 1 for all attendees whose paperwork and payment are not complete at that time. Many of the professional development workshops also fill prior to the conference and thus registration for them is often not available on site. 


Please address questions about registration, letters of invitation, and logistics to Heidi in the AEA office at

Please address questions about opportunities for international attendees to the chair of the International and Cross-cultural TIG, Mary Church, at

Please address questions about the silent auction to the auction coordinator, Craig Russon, at

We look forward to seeing you in November!