As many of us are accustomed to writing or reviewing quarterly reports for work, I thought this would be a nice opportunity to update fellow WE members on what the Board has been up to so far this year. As a professional association with dues-paying members, I also wanted to ensure that we’re not only accountable to our members, but that all members have a chance to learn more about the events, activities, or communications they may have missed.
Our Program Committee has done an excellent job curating events focusing on our two broad themes this year: (1) evaluation as community, and (2) evaluation in the community. I’ll speak briefly on both here. Last month, I had the opportunity to host several WE members at my home for dinner. Our Sine Qua Non dinners provide a great way to create a sense of community by sharing a meal and conversation with fellow WE members. Any member can host a Sine Qua Non dinner at their home or a neighborhood restaurant, so please reach out if you are interested.
Earlier this week, I attended a WE-sponsored field trip to Pathways to Housing DC. This is part of our priority to get evaluators out into the city so we can engage with the broader DC-area community. We had the opportunity to listen about the amazing work conducted by Pathways, as well as from two of their program participants. To share a bit for those who may have missed this event: Pathways seeks to provide home, health, and hope to more than 3,500 individuals who are homeless or at risk of homeless. They currently have a 91% housing retention rate. You can learn more about their evidence-based approach here.
We hope you are enjoying our members-only Weekly Digest and WEval Forum. If you have items (e.g., employment opportunities, interesting reads, events) you would like us to advertise, please email at any time. We’ve also increased our Twitter and LinkedIn presence, which you are hopefully finding informative. I would just like to note that we still do not have a Communications Chair, so our current Board members are doubling up on duties. If you would like to volunteer, please let us know (I promise it’s not too much work; I’ll even buy you a drink at the next happy hour).
Earlier this year, we launched Evaluation Without Borders as a formal year-round programming option for members. We experienced a slow start in generating a client base, but I think this is an important note to make: as professional evaluators, we should strive to improve our connections in our communities. That said, after some targeted outreach, I’m glad to say that we were able to match nine pro bono clients with pro bono teams in our first round this year.
Additionally, our Mentor Minutes program has matched nearly ten individuals in the last few months. Mentor Minutes is set up for busy professionals, so please do not hesitate to sign up. Unlike other mentorship programs, you are only asked to meet two to three times to discuss a few discrete topics (connections can always continue after though). If you are interested in mentoring, sign up here as we’re always interested in increasing the number on our roster.
As WE members, we hope you’ve enjoyed the first quarter of 2019 and encourage you to attend events, volunteer, and meaningfully engage with fellow WE members and your broader community.