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2013 MESI Spring Training (18th Annual)

Learning by Doing: Bridging Evaluation Theory and Practice

Training dates: March 6-8, 2013
Pre-Training Workshops: March 4-5, 2013
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Keynote Descriptions

Adaptive Action: Options in Evaluation with Glenda Eoyang

Evidence-based practice, random controlled trials, and predictable outcomes have become the standards for “good” evaluation. At the same time, interventions are becoming more locally determined and focused on systemic change. This tension, between prediction and adaptation or local and general is driving evaluation theory and practice for individual practitioners and the field as a whole. This session will explore ways to see beyond this apparent dichotomy into a praxis of choice taking and meaning making.

The Revolution Will Not Be Culturally Competent

This innovative plenary session will allow social program staff, funders, evaluators, and students to reflect critically on the notion of culture in the context of power and privilege. It will consist of the performance of a case scenario in which the line between the performer and the audience member will blur. In the spirit of street theater, we will collectively grapple with the many layers of history and structural inequity that we see play out.

This participatory session starts from the premise that diversity, cultural competence, and multiple methods are necessary but insufficient to achieve social justice. Even staff and evaluators who share experiences, cultures, and political solidarities with program participants operate within larger systems, by which many may feel trapped. There are no easy answers, but we see MESI participants as having unique strengths and perspectives to bring to the discussion. Our hope is that participants will engage in thoughtful and authentic dialogue around the issues raised.

Featured Speakers

Presentation Handouts

Handouts made available from 2013 presenters.

Revised June 26, 2014

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