We’re so impressed by the enthusiasm and skills of Canada’s emerging evaluators. Evidence: the 2020 student evaluator case competition where students demonstrated that evaluation can excel in our digital first, physically-distanced reality.
Now running for more than 20 years, the Student Evaluation Case Competition is a two-round annual Canadian competition that helps post-secondary students build and showcase their program evaluation skills. Students work in teams to respond to a request for proposals with a looming deadline. The cases they work on are based on real organizations and programs. Cathexis has been a sponsor of the case competition and the Canadian Evaluation Society Education Fund for several years.
The finalist teams were from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the University of Waterloo. Both teams impressed us and drove home some points that we think are so important for evaluators to keep in mind for every evaluation:
- Acknowledge the historical caretakers of the land where you work
- Know the program context really well (people, places, politics) and demonstrate this to your client
- Have a plan for how you will engage with stakeholders
- Get stakeholders to define what success looks like
- Counter “positivity bias” by seeking out people who are less likely to respond to surveys or interview requests – these are often the people who’ve had negative experiences
- Use engaging reporting and knowledge sharing approaches
In the end it was the team from SFU that was awarded the winning title. They’ll go on to compete at the World Evaluation Case Competition this fall. We’ll be watching out for that!