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AEA designates two persons to the Professionalization initiative

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  • AEA designates two persons to the Professionalization initiative

    AEA president John Gargani has just appointed not one, but two, of AEA's very best experts to represent AEA on EvalPartners’ new initiative on Professionalization. This is a strong signal that AEA believes this new initiative is vitally important, and we thank Riitta Oksanen and Susan Tamondong, co-chairs of Professionalization, for allowing AEA to designate two persons.

    Dr. Donna Podems is a Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University in South Africa and is founder and director of OtherWISE: Research and Evaluation, a small South African research and evaluation company. She is a board member of the South African M&E Association (SAMEA) and has consulted for various UN, bilateral, and multilateral agencies, 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 and was lead editor of a special edition of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation on “Professionalising Evaluation around the Globe”. She is also on the AEA Board of Directors and is a key member of an AEA task force to develop evaluator competencies for AEA members. In both these roles, she 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, USA, 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.

    As you can see, AEA clearly supports this new Professionalization initiative. Good luck to everyone involved.