Episode 20: Evaluator Journeys – A constant state of ‘Now what do I do?’

Carolyn and Brian are joined this week by former-Saskatonian-now-Haligonian Evan Poncelet to talk about journeys through the field of evaluation. Topics of discussion include DIY bricolage approaches to ongoing learning, whether Evan is REAL, experiences with awkwardly-worded emails, and the perils of clumping.

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Episode 19: We’ve Only Just Begun

Kick things off right with Brian and Carolyn as we tackle one of the most deep and profound philosophical questions facing the field of evaluation—how do you even start one of these things!? Where do you begin with evaluation? What does it take to unravel the story behind the evaluation purpose? Why give people fake findings? What are the assumptions that can get you off on the wrong foot? What’s the value of a dumb question? How do we avoid the method trap? How does going slow help us go faster? And, most important of all, who’s actually going to listen all the way through that part in the middle where we got distracted talking about our respective file organization systems? Tune in and find out!

Episode 18: What’s in the Mystery Box?

In this episode, we welcome our first guest FROM THE FUTURE (by which we mean Australia), Jade Maloney, of ARTD Consultants. Jade helps us “unbox” the theme of the upcoming Australian Evaluation Society 2019 conference, “Evaluation Un-boxed”. Join us as we unpack and deconstruct evaluation in every conceivable way. Why do we call ourselves evaluators? What does that mean? Are we just misunderstood? Can evaluation be a gift? How is evaluation like a creative writing class? Is evaluation more like socks, a gym pass, or a beautiful vase? What kinds of boxes are we putting ourselves in? How many people are we going to annoy by questioning whether we should define evaluation around determining merit, worth, and significance? Should we define ourselves more by what we do, how we do it, or why we do it? How many long, pensive silences did Carolyn have to edit out of the recording after we started asking really big existential questions? And just how many past episodes are we going to reference before the episode is over?

Episode 17: Every Year I’m Conferencing

Carolyn and Brian are joined in this episode by Dr. Michael Harnar to talk conferences. Listen as we talk about what we enjoy about these regular meetups, our strategies for avoiding both conference burnout and FOMO, improvements we’d like to see in how they’re held, and our favourite conference memories.

Episode 16: Nobody Said It Was Easy – Where Evaluation and Facilitation Collide

Carolyn and Brian are joined by special guest Chris Corrigan to talk about the intersections and interconnections of evaluation and facilitation. Are they warring factions? Soulmates in complexity? Can we “recover learning from the trauma of being judged” and move into a joyful practice as we navigate expertise in complexity for social change? Where does “mooshing” come into all of this? What do facilitators and evaluators have to offer each other and what can we wrestle with together? Tune in and find out! Bonus content: soccer, nonlinear pedagogy, and Brian’s bookclub foibles, not necessarily in that order.

Episode 15: Collective Eval Cafe Head

Happy New Year! To kick off 2019, Carolyn and Brian take a look backwards and forward – tune in to hear how they did with 2018’s directions and their plans for the coming 12 months! Conversation topics include community development, creativity and arts-based approaches, the therapeutic benefits of podcasting, teasers for upcoming episodes, and a discussion on whether 2019 will (finally) be the Year of the Trombone.

Episode 14: A Principles-Focused Episode

Join Brian, Carolyn, and special guest Kim van der Woerd (Reciprocal Consulting) as we wander into the complex and intriguing world of principles-focused evaluation. Will our paradigms be shifted? Will our hearts be centered? Will we remember all the stuff that Michael Quinn Patton tried to instil in us from all the workshops and books and conference presentations?* Let’s hope! Tune in and find out what we have to say about how we can use storytelling, whether program logic models can be redeemed, and how we’re trying to overcome barriers to using principles-focused evaluation in our work.