October 2020 Newsletter

Hi SETIG Members,

You’ve heard the news that AEA is going virtual, so what will this look like? Read on for updates on SETIG sessions and ways to connect virtually during and outside the conference week.

 Emily Gates & Kim Norris, SETIG Co-chairs

Jeneen R. Garcia & Clara Shim, SETIG Program Chairs

You’re Invited to our AEA SETIG Business Meeting

AEA has decided to go completely virtual for Evaluation 2020 from Tuesday, October 27 to Friday, October 30. Registration is currently open – $300 to register early and $350 to register the week itself.

The SETIG Business meeting will take place October 27, 5:30-6:30 PM Eastern virtually. It will be open to all members, including those not registered for the conference. We’d love for you to join us! RSVP here by Oct. 23 to receive the calendar invite & Zoom link.

SETIG-Sponsored Conference Sessions

Due to the switch to a virtual format, each TIG got only TWO slots instead of the original 22. It was a tough call to make, especially after volunteers worked so hard to peer-review and score the 32 submitted proposals. We selected proposals that (a) had unanimous highest scores, broad appeal, practical focus, and addressed equity and inclusion; and (b) would transfer well to Zoom. Congratulations to presenters of the two SETIG sessions below!

2848: COVID 19: Using Systems Theory to Evaluate Local Public Health Agency Response to a Viral Pandemic (roundtable)

Tuesday, October 27th from 3:00-3:45pm Eastern US Time

Ann Zukoski (Minnesota Dept of Health) & Liana Schreiber (Research Scientist)

1902: Uncomplicating Complexity: Democratizing Systems Tools for Local Actors (multi-paper)

Friday, October 30th from 1:30-2:15pm Eastern US Time

Presenters: Jenna White (UNOPS), Alexis Smart (Root Change), Megan McDormett (Independent Evaluator), & Rachel Dickinson

Member Spotlight – Ann Zukoski, DrPH, MPH

I first became familiar with systems thinking when I wandered into an amazing Meg Hargreaves workshop years ago – think AEA Disneyland. Since then, I have been actively seeking out opportunities to learn and apply systems principles and practices in my work. My AEA 2020 roundtable session was inspired by Ronda Zacocks who presented last year in Minneapolis on how system concepts and methods can be used to make sense of and navigate complex dynamics of a schools initiative. The COVID-19 outbreak represents an unprecedented moment in history where state and local public health systems are challenged to make sense of, pivot and adapt in constantly changing high stakes environments. Join our roundtable to discuss how evaluation using systems theory and adaptive action principles can support organizations and communities as they respond and strengthen their resiliency in the face of this pandemic.


Rad Resources & Readings Hub

NEW Posts on Series on Systems & Complexity: Featuring posts by Rick Davies, Beverly Parsons, Emily Gates, Mat Walton, Glenda Eoyang, & Jonny Morell. Go to blog section: What do research and theory in complexity and systems tell us about evaluation practice and evaluation theory?

The Climate Change Playbook: 22 Systems Thinking Games for More Effective Communication about Climate Change 

Uses many games from the Systems Thinking Playbook (some updated) plus some new ones for climate change. Good for using as an evaluation team or as an evaluator working with clients or community.

Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers

For teaching as well as working with clients and community members. Lots of activities in here that translate well to systems thinking.

Upcoming SETIG Events & Member Meet-ups

Virtual Meet-ups

We’ve kicked off two meetups offered monthly. Meetups are an informal community of practice – a space for us to come together to think together about whatever systems+evaluation ideas are brewing in our work and lives. Next meeting is Thurs Oct 15 @ 5pm Eastern US. To be added to the group, email emily.gates@bc.edu.

Journal Club

A supportive learning community for evaluators to discuss systems approaches in evaluation. We discuss an article for one month and invite the author of the article for a Q&A session the following month.

Next sessions:

Thursday October 8th 5-6pm Eastern US: The first chapter of Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future

Thursday November 12th 5-6pm Eastern US: Q&A with author Beverly Parsons

Stay Connected & Involved

Reach out to us personally or through the SETIG email at systemsinevaluationtig@gmail.com. Stay tuned for updates on our social media outreach and a revamp of our website!

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