Fellow WE members:
This week, as we celebrate the work and achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington Evaluators is pleased to formally launch its pro bono evaluation program: Evaluation Without Borders (EWB). As MLK Day--and the rest of this week--is often seen as a time to serve our communities, we would like to encourage our members to think of ways they can give back to the greater Washington, D.C. area.
The greater metropolitan area has an extensive network of non-profits and community-based organizations. However, after speaking to a number of organizations, we have found that while many are interested in program planning, measurement, and evaluation services, few have the resources to undertake such efforts. Additionally, for those without exposure to professional evaluation services, there is general anxiety surrounding the idea of starting a project, not asking the right questions, or simply paying for services that may not be utilized. Through EWB, we hope that our members will not only be giving back, but improving the capacity of organizations to engage in evaluation; in turn, promoting its demand and use.
Through this initiative, we would also like to provide our members with additional opportunities to engage with those outside the evaluation profession. Historically, WE members have worked tirelessly to promote evaluation, and influence evaluation policy and practice through their work with the Evaluation Policy Task Force and EvalAction. To complement these efforts, we would like to ensure that we are promoting our field by working closely with local communities as well. We anticipate the combination of these initiatives will provide the coverage needed to influence evaluation policy and practice with institutional actors and grassroots movements alike.
As mentioned in our first message of the year, if you are interested in sharing your skills, we encourage you to complete our pro bono evaluator form. Evaluators will be grouped into teams, matched with clients, and provided a Memorandum of Understanding to set evaluator and client expectations. This is also a great opportunity for members to join a pro bono team and learn from evaluators with diverse skills. And, if you know of an organization interested in pro bono support, please refer them to our client interest form.
Through EWB, we hope you find it to be an excellent opportunity to learn from clients and other evaluators, give back to the broader Washington, D.C. area, and continue to build our local evaluation community.