EES Goes Virtual: Evaluation in an Uncertain World: Complexity, Legitimacy and Ethics | Virtual

By European Evaluation Society

EES Goes Virtual: Evaluation in an Uncertain World: Complexity, Legitimacy and Ethics | Virtual

đź“… 6-10 September 2021

The European Evaluation Society (EES) is delighted to announce that it will hold its Conference online this year from 8-10 September 2021, with online Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) occurring on 6-7 September 2021.

Titled EES Goes Virtual: Evaluation in an Uncertain World: Complexity, Legitimacy and Ethics, the Conference’s 90+ sessions and keynote addresses will be highly interactive and focus on four main themes:

  • Theme 1: The Anthropocene and its complex problems: The role of Evaluation
  • Theme 2: Adapting the toolbox: Methodological Challenges
  • Theme 3: Propelling and provoking the agenda: The role and responsibility of evaluators
  • Theme 4: Greasing the wheels of evaluation: the role of evaluators, evaluation commissioners, and evaluators funders (donors) in ensuring that knowledge changes practice

In addition, the Online Conference format will include discussion boards and opportunities for virtual networking and informal discussion.

Professional Development Workshops (6-7 September 2021)

Just as with EES’ traditional in-person conferences, the first two days will be dedicated to pre-conference Professional Development Workshops (PDWs). To best suit the online format, each workshop will consist of two 2.5 hour sessions in the morning and afternoon on either Monday 6 June or Tuesday 7 June.

Workshop facilitators from around the world have been selected not only for their expertise on the proposed topic, but also for their facilitation skills, including in virtual formats.

Please note that workshops are not the same as webinars. Participants will be expected to actively engage, and there will be opportunity for interactions both with the facilitators and other participants. For example, facilitators will make use of breakout rooms such as for small-group exercises, online white boards and annotation tools, etc.

Conference Session Modalities (8-10 September 2021)

In addition to the classic presentation formats of panels and individual paper presentations, the EES Conference will also include more innovative session types to ignite lively discussion and energise innovative thinking.

Keynotes: Each day of the conference will begin with a keynote address to set the stage for the days’ sessions.

Papers: Individuals wishing to present a paper on an individual basis. These are papers that are not part of a panel. Paper presenters will be asked if they want to chair/be discussants. Papers will be placed within a panel by conference organizers.

Panels: This modality follows the presentation of single papers. Each panel will include 3-4 paper presentations and a chair.

Round Tables: This modality is more flexible than papers, can include short presentations, but generally focused on a discussion held by different key individuals on the panel and driven by a discussant. Each panel should include 3-4 paper presentations and a discussant. Authors/contributors cannot propose a topic for a panel as individual contributions. Rather a panel must include all elements.

Think Tank Sessions: These are sessions where a single presentation will be done – some 15 minutes, then key questions will be introduced and individual groups will be asked to examine specific questions. The objectives of these sessions is for discussion to follow specific topic or aspects of a topic and generate clear ideas/thoughts etc. These will be working sessions where presenters can make active use of their audience to further their specific discussions on a subject.

Tools in Use, Changing Tools: These sessions should focus on a presentation of a tool or tool set. These sessions will focus on sharing practical skills and potentially delving into discussions on challenges and modification. Presenters can also identify key questions on how the tools can be used, challenges faced etc. These can include one or more presenters and the format can be upon to the presenters. Importantly, it is a way of highlighting methodological tools.

Fishbowl: This type of session is best served for the discussion of issues surrounding a common theme, rather than the presentation of papers. The objective is to bring together different perspectives or points of view surrounding a single subject. The modality should include a brief introduction by starting participants, and a moderator. Min 4-max 6, moderator, a presenter, 2 start discussant to frame the discussion. Contributions to fishbowls must be introduced as a single even and include all participants.

Birds of a Feather: Informal group that comes together to discuss a specific topic. The sessions will allow for all participants to introduce each other and hold informal discussions surrounding a specific topic. There are no presentations. They require 1 or 2 people who would like to discuss a specific subject and for them to propose the subject and detail some of the issues they want to cover.

Networking Opportunities (8-10 September 2021)

Attendees will have the ability to network through various features of the EES Online Conference.

First, attendees can join and create Virtual Meet-Ups for different topics to further discuss. These informal, ad hoc virtual sessions allow attendees to further discuss proposed themes at their own mutually convenient time.

Next, attendees can also connect on the Community Discussion Board to post comments and engage with each other and speakers on the Conference’s themes, or other relevant topics.

Lastly, attendees can directly contact each other through the Conference platform’s private messaging option.