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Monday, September 16 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Unpacking the skills required for an evaluator - Learning from the past to prepare us for the future

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Anthea Rutter (The  University of Melbourne)

What does it mean to call ourselves an evaluator? How do we define our craft? Let me pose another question: what do you put on your departure card when leaving Australia? - Evaluator?

I once put evaluator on my departure card before a flight to the States. I then spent the best part of an hour in Los Angeles airport trying to explain to a customs official what exactly an evaluator is. I felt it would have been so much easier to be a Plumber, an Electrician or a Nurse. We can easily conjure up the visual - somehow, it's not the same for an evaluator. However, defining our craft is important so that others, whether they are emerging evaluators or clients will understand what we are about, as well as what we are not about.

The AES Fellows are an important resource for understanding the history of evaluation, how it has evolved as well as looking towards the future. During the last eight months or so, I have interviewed the majority of the AES Fellows to get their take on what it means to be an evaluator today. I was rewarded by an honest and reflective look at their careers and gleaned some ideas for those emerging evaluators. For a number of those early pioneers of evaluation, they came into it when it was a fledgling field when it was still in the throes of trying to define itself. It has emerged as a profession and has been strengthened by becoming multi-disciplinary as it recognises that it needs to draw on many fields.

In this short paper, I will present some of those thoughts and experiences of the AES Fellows, to illuminate the path, if possible, for new evaluators. I would hope to pass on some ideas which can assist in skill building as well as identifying the qualities needed for the evaluator of today. This paper should add to the knowledge base in terms of providing some valuable information on the perceptions of those evaluators who have gone before.

avatar for Sarah Renals

Sarah Renals

Senior Consultant Evaluation + Research, Allen + Clarke
Sarah is a senior consultant based in Brisbane working for Allen + Clarke. Sarah shares the role of aes20 Conference Co-Convenor and is currently the acting Queensland Regional Committee Convenor and Secretary. Come and speak to Sarah about: Allen + Clarke, aes20 Brisbane and the... Read More →

avatar for Anthea Rutter

Anthea Rutter

Research Fellow, Centre for Program Evaluation. The University of Melbourne
Anthea Rutter is a Senior Research Fellow in the Assessment and Evaluation Research Centre (formerly the Centre for Program Evaluation) at The University of Melbourne. She has extensive experience working with a wide range of community, state and national organisations. She is particularly... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 12:00pm - 12:30pm AEST