During the 2014 AEA Systems TIG Business meeting in Denver, SETIG members brainstormed a broad spectrum of ideas related to building and supporting a vibrant learning network among systems thinking evaluators that could exist outside the annual conference venue. The goal of this member-driven, TIG-supported learning network is to provide a safe and energizing platform for individuals to exchange ideas, support each other, and make connections promoting continued learning and evaluation work throughout the year.
Principles for Systems in Evaluation Work Group
- Work on this project began in 2015 with a set of surveys to better understand TIG members’ perceptions of what systems thinking meant in the context of evaluation and how they were using systems approaches in their own practice. After presenting these findings during the 2015 business meeting in Chicago, work then began on using that data as a starting point for drafting a set of guidelines for systems-informed evaluation. These guidelines were shared in 2016 in Atlanta during the TIG business meeting. In addition, further input was obtained through a Birds of A Feather session during the Atlanta annual meeting. Over the course of 2017, a work group was convened to draft a set of principles using Michael Quinn Patton’s GUIDE framework. Progress was shared during the 2017 business meeting and during a think tank session in Washington, DC. Work will continue in 2018 to refine the principles. For further information, contact Meg Hargreaves or Heather Britt.
Strengthening Ties with Other TIGs
- Ginger Fitzhugh, working in conjunction with leaders from other TIGs, coordinated this effort, hosting sessions during the 2015 and 2016 AEA annual meetings. As a result of these efforts, AEA now has a Cross-TIG Advisory Group that works in conjunction with the Board and the management company to address issues of concern and interest to TIGs. To learn more about what is happening in this area, contact Brandon Coffee-Borden.
Coordinate Updates on Events and Opportunities of Interest
- The SETIG is working to use this website as a vehicle to coordinate updates on upcoming events and opportunities relevant to systems thinking in evaluation such as regional affiliate meetings, resources to support members’ work, conferences, and other learning opportunities such as webinars. If you become aware of events or opportunities, send the relevant details to Jan Noga and she’ll post them to the website.
TIG Website and Member Communications
- The leadership team is working to increase communication among TIG members. This website and our newsletter are two elements of that strategy. If you would like to be part of a communications action team or are interested in helping with the newsletter and other commmunications, contact Brandon Coffee-Borden.
- If you have specific technical questions or suggestions for the website, contact webmaster Jan Noga or use the Contact Us form on this site.
Our goal for the learning network and this website is to provide members with the ability to become active contributors to the site. Over the next few weeks, we will be setting up a process for SETIG members to sign up as contributors with posting access to the Learning Network. Until then, you can send contributions for any part of the network or any other section of the website to Jan Noga. Be sure to include all relevant details, links, PDF documents, or other media such as pictures or graphics.
Here’s an initial list of activities that might be developed and posted by members to this area of the network:
In Ancient Greece, the agora was the center of community life. More than just a marketplace, it was the place where the community came together to exchange goods, ideas, education, and support. Our Systems Agora is will provide an online forum for individuals to propose and connect with new opportunities for learning and practice. Like a systems “Craigslist,” this marketplace could help members:
- Coordinate book clubs, think tanks, virtual coffee breaks, and communities of practice around relevant topics
- Develop joint conference proposals
- Co‐design or improve systems tools
- Exchange mentorship and “evaluation therapy” to trouble‐shoot issues and improve practic
- Jointly pursue new evaluation and/or consulting projects
- Create a “Give and Get” time bank for support such as technical review of papers or submissions
We are currently in the process of exploring our technical options in terms of creating a means for independent posting. However, if you have something you would like to share, feel free to either send the information to our Webmaster or post your announcement on the News and Announcements page.
Host a community calendar so members can keep each other up to date on what’s happening in the world of systems thinking for evaluation.
Provide a platform for members wishing to initiate and/or coordinate learning events (e.g., webinars, round‐tables, virtual brown‐bags, collective feedback sessions, etc.) between AEA’s annual conferences. The first systems unconference was held in October of 2015 and was repeated in 2016. Do you have an idea for a learning event you would like to host? Contact any member of our leadership team with your ideas.