AEA Appoints Two Experts to New Global Network on Professionalization
From Mike Hendricks, AEA Representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), with contributions from Jim Rugh, EvalPartners Co-Coordinator
AEA President John Gargani has just appointed not one but two of our very best experts to represent AEA on a new initiative from the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) on Professionalization. This is a strong signal that AEA believes this new initiative is vitally important.
Dr. Donna Podems is founder and director of OtherWISE: Research and Evaluation, a small South African research and evaluation company. She currently serves on the AEA Board of Directors and previously served on the board of the South African M&E Association (SAMEA), where she lives. Donna has also consulted for various U.N., bilateral, and multilateral agencies, as well as nonprofits and foundations in more than 20 countries over the past 20 years.
Donna was the author of the South African Evaluation Competency Framework for Government, the lead author of the South African study on pathways for strengthening evaluators, for which some information can be found here, and the lead editor of a special edition of the “The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation” on professionalizing evaluation around the globe. She is also a key member of an AEA task force to develop evaluator competencies for AEA members and has been reporting regularly to the AEA Board on the international discussions around professionalization.
Dr. John LaVelle is an assistant professor at Louisiana State University, having received his Ph.D. in evaluation and applied research methods from Claremont Graduate University, where he studied with AEA past-president Stewart Donaldson, Michael Scriven, and others. While at Claremont, John also was the director of operations and external affairs at the School of Social Science, Policy, and Evaluation.
John’s academic interests focus specifically on professionalization in evaluation, and he has authored several peer-reviewed articles on just this topic. He is especially interested in the international job market and the formal university systems that are set up to meet those needs. He has explored topics such as analyzing the international job market for evaluators, the university systems across the world that prepare evaluators, and methods for reaching out to potential applied researchers and evaluators.
AEA, IOCE, and the global evaluation community all benefit from having such high-level persons involved in this new network. Our thanks to Donna and John for serving in this vitally important role.