Evaluation in a turbulent world: Challenges, opportunities and innovation in evaluation practice
Date: 22-23 November 2010
Venue: Macdonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham
With the effects of the financial crisis still being felt, and with a new coalition government in Number 10, many evaluators find themselves operating in a very different policy environment. In particular the rhetoric has changed from tackling the crisis (a central theme of last year’s conference looking at impact) to talk of austerity and cutting back the public sector, a major source of sponsorship for evaluation. While this environment offers tough challenges, it also presents opportunities – in particular in the development and promotion of new evaluation methodologies, relationships and approaches. More than ever there will be a need to assess what is of value, what has quality and in what circumstances evaluation can contribute to informed policy-making and debate.
The themes of this year’s conference therefore revolve around the added value which evaluation brings to the policy process and how these benefits can be maximised; the ongoing development and future of how evaluation is conducted; and the circumstances in which evaluation can effectively and efficiently demonstrate value for money. The call for presentations and workshops reflect these themes under the following headings:
- Innovative and collaborative evaluation methods;
- Methodological challenges due to reduced budgets;
- Better utilisation of currently existing data sets and sources; and
- The role of the ‘professional’ evaluator.
The UKES conference offers an opportunity for members (from across government, academia, the voluntary and private sectors) to engage with the wider membership about the work they’re doing and to highlight promising new work, emerging best practice and innovation in all spheres of evaluation.