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The American Evaluation Association invites evaluators from around the world to attend its annual conference to be held Wednesday, November 2, through Saturday, November 5, 2011 in Anaheim, California. We'll be convening at the Hilton Anaheim, in the midst of the southern California excitement, and anticipate over 2500 delegates to join us for AEA's 25th anniversary conference. Discounted hotel reservations will be available in March.

AEA's annual meeting is expected to bring together approximately 2500 evaluation practitioners, academics, and students, and represents a unique opportunity to gather with professional colleagues in a collaborative, thought-provoking, and fun atmosphere.

The conference is broken down into over 40 Topical Strands that examine the field from the vantage point of a particular methodology, context, or issue of interest as well as the Presidential Strand highlighting this year's Presidential Theme of Values and Valuing. Presentations may explore the conference theme or any aspect of the full breadth and depth of evaluation theory and practice.

Deadline PASSED: Proposals are due by midnight in the Eastern time zone, on Friday, March 18, 2011.



Letter of Invitation to Submit for Evaluation 2011 from AEA's President

The first week of November 2011, members and friends of AEA will convene in Anaheim, California – land of sun and sea, movie stars, perennial childhood (in nearby Disneyland), as well as an evocative mix of beliefs, traditions, and cultures.

Like culture, evaluation is inherently imbued with values. Our work as evaluators intrinsically involves the process of valuing, as our charge is to make judgments about the “goodness” or the quality, merit or worth of a program. Judgments rest on criteria, which in turn reflect priorities and beliefs about what is most important. At Evaluation 2011, I would like us to take up the challenges of values and valuing in evaluation, particularly the plurality of values represented by different evaluation purposes and audiences, key evaluation questions, and quality criteria. I anticipate that greater attention to and openness in the value dimensions of our work can improve our practice, offer voice to diverse stakeholder interests, and enhance our capacity to make a difference in society.

The richness and vitality of this conference theme will hopefully generate a wide and deep mixture of ideas, experiences, and insights. The major values underlying the conference theme itself, and thus expected discourse at the conference, include the legitimacy of different standpoints, respectful acceptance of others’ points of view, and norms of listening well to each other. As catalysts for forthcoming conference proposals, I offer the following starting points.

First, in terms of the major anchors of values within the design of evaluation studies (purposes and audiences, key evaluation questions, and quality criteria):

Second, as connected to the technical side of evaluators’ work:

And third, as connected to the role of evaluation in society:

I invite you to submit a proposal for Evaluation 2011 that explores issues of values and valuing, or that connects to your own niche within our evaluation community. And I look forward to celebrating AEA’s 25th anniversary at our gathering in Anaheim.

Jennifer

Jennifer Greene
AEA 2011 President