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Episode 22 - Profound Meanderings

In theory, this episode was a chance for us to review how we’re doing with our intentions for 2019. And we get there, we promise! En route, we discuss routines and systems, what comes after March Madness, Carolyn’s inability to unsubscribe from email lists, Brian’s allergic reaction to the SMART acronym, and crises singular and collective. We also get a (non-) update from Brian on the Year of the Trombone,and Carolyn hosts a TED talk partway through. Plus, an #evalmemes challenge for our...


Episode 21 - Evaluating From The Heart

Episode Notes In this episode, we’re joined by Nora Murphy Johnson, co-founder of Creative Evaluation, which focuses on evaluation for truth, beauty, and justice. In a conversation about evaluation for healing and change, evaluation as sacred work and a noble calling, Nora tells us about the winding path she has taken as an evaluator, how her relationship with her husband, an artist and evaluator himself, informs the work they do together, how she’s working to bring embodiment to her...


Episode 20: Evaluator Journeys - A constant state of ‘Now what do I do?’

Carolyn and Brian are joined this week by former-Saskatonian-now-Haligonian Evan Poncelet to talk about journeys through the field of evaluation. Topics of discussion include DIY bricolage approaches to ongoing learning, whether Evan is REAL, experiences with awkwardly-worded emails, and the perils of clumping. Full show notes available on our website. Find out more on the Eval Cafe website.


Episode 19: We've Only Just Begun

Episode Notes Kick things off right with Brian and Carolyn as we tackle one of the most deep and profound philosophical questions facing the field of evaluation—how do you even start one of these things!? Where do you begin with evaluation? What does it take to unravel the story behind the evaluation purpose? Why give people fake findings? What are the assumptions that can get you off on the wrong foot? What’s the value of a dumb question? How do we avoid the method trap? How does going...


Episode 18: What's in the Mystery Box?

Episode Notes In this episode, we welcome our first guest FROM THE FUTURE (by which we mean Australia), Jade Maloney, of ARTD Consultants (https://artd.com.au/). Jade helps us “unbox” the theme of the upcoming Australian Evaluation Society 2019 conference, “Evaluation Un-boxed”. Join us as we unpack and deconstruct evaluation in every conceivable way. Why do we call ourselves evaluators? What does that mean? Are we just misunderstood? Can evaluation be a gift? How is evaluation like a...


Episode 17: Every Year I'm Conferencing

Episode Notes Carolyn and Brian are joined in this episode by Dr. Michael Harnar to talk conferences. Listen as we talk about what we enjoy about these regular meetups, our strategies for avoiding both conference burnout and FOMO, improvements we’d like to see in how they’re held, and our favourite conference memories. Full episode notes available at our website. Find out more on the Eval Cafe website.


Episode 16: Nobody Said It Was Easy - Where Evaluation and Facilitation Collide

Episode Notes Carolyn and Brian are joined by special guest Chris Corrigan (http://www.chriscorrigan.com/) to talk about the intersections and interconnections of evaluation and facilitation. Are they warring factions? Soulmates in complexity? Can we "recover learning from the trauma of being judged" and move into a joyful practice as we navigate expertise in complexity for social change? Where does "mooshing" come into all of this? What do facilitators and evaluators have to offer each...


Episode 15: Collective Eval Cafe Head

Episode Notes Happy New Year! To kick off 2019, Carolyn and Brian take a look backwards and forward - tune in to hear how they did with 2018’s directions and their plans for the coming 12 months! Conversation topics include community development, creativity and arts-based approaches, the therapeutic benefits of podcasting, teasers for upcoming episodes, and a discussion on whether 2019 will (finally) be the Year of the Trombone. Full show notes available at our website.


Episode 14: A Principles-Focused Episode

Episode Notes Join Brian, Carolyn, and special guest Kim van der Woerd (Reciprocal Consulting) as we wander into the complex and intriguing world of principles-focused evaluation. Will our paradigms be shifted? Will our hearts be centered? Will we remember all the stuff that Michael Quinn Patton tried to instil in us from all the workshops and books and conference presentations?* Let's hope! Tune in and find out what we have to say about how we can use storytelling, whether program logic...


Ep 13: This Could Be the Start of Something: Client Relationships and Evaluation

Episode Notes You definitely want to swipe right on this episode to hear Carolyn and Brian talk about client relationships! We discuss looking beyond the dating profile, deciding what questions to ask right at the get-go, handling the inevitable relationship woes, and deciding when to rekindle the romance or just walk away. Carolyn put it best: "The relationship metaphors just don't stop!" Full episode notes available at our website.


Episode 12: EvalCafe Goes Back To School!

Carolyn and Brian are back in the Eval Cafe and ready for a brand new school-year that’s just “chalk” full of learning! Pull up a desk, get out your binders and cahiers, and be prepared to take notes because this will be on the final exam. What’s Brian’s ultimate whiteboard hack? How does Carolyn justify putting a bed in their office? What educational experiences are Carolyn and Brian most looking forward to and how did they spend their summer vacation? Warning: this episode comes with a...


Episode 11: A Co-Created Conversation

Carolyn and Brian pack their bags (and more importantly their podcasting gear) and meet up in Calgary for the Canadian Evaluation Society’s annual conference! This episode, recorded as a Thematic Breakfast Roundtable, features five attendees who joined our intrepid hosts at a wholly-unreasonable time of morning on the final day of the conference. Among other topics, we talk about the conference theme (Co-Creation), the upcoming updates to the CES evaluator competencies (now with 41% fewer...


Episode 10: Songs in the Key of E(val)

Sarah Farina of Broadleaf Consulting joins Carolyn and Brian this week to talk about music and how it connects with our work as evaluators. Which one of us is “a big nerd for classical music”? How lucky is Carolyn at Random Karaoke? What two songs have scarred Brian and Carolyn for life? And most importantly, does this podcast meet Canadian content requirements? Apologies for some minor sound quality issues in this episode - to borrow from our episode 7 title, “Damn it, Jim, I’m an...


Episode 9: 2018: An Evaluation Odyssey

In the first episode of 2018, Brian and Carolyn kick off the new year with some retrospective musings and a bit of peering off into the horizon with goals, directions, and personal challenges for the year ahead. We cover a little of everything in what may be a preview of podcast content to come—learning new stats programs, getting an evaluation credential, using arts-based methods (and why Brian should play the trombone at a stakeholder meeting), engaging with reconciliation as evaluators...


Episode 8: #Eval - The Twittering

Brush off your hashtags and practice condensing your thoughts to 140 characters (or is that 280 now?), as Carolyn and Brian are joined by fellow evaluation consultant Dana Wanzer to talk Twitter. We chat about how we’ve used the platform to build community, our stand-out moments on Twitter, and of course our favourite memes (#omgmqp for starters). Plus, can evaluation benefit from more cute animal pics? Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. Full show notes at...


Episode 7: "Damn it, Jim, I'm an evaluator!" Lessons from the Trekiverse

Open hailing frequencies and get your warp engines online, it's our nerdiest episode yet! We're joined by Kylie Hutchinson, principal consultant for Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation, to talk about the lessons that evaluators can take from the Star Trek universe. From the Original Series to Voyager (no Discovery spoilers!), we share our favourite nerdy references and apply them to evaluation. Should we be battling the Borg? Embracing our inner Ferengi? Are evaluators more like Data...


Episode 6: Let's Get Ethical!

Join Brian and Carolyn in welcoming our first podcast special guest, Don Flaming, Manager of ARECCI (A pRoject Ethics Community Consensus Initiative) for Alberta Innovates! In this episode, we delve into the BIG questions. Do we need REBs to be ethical? What's the difference between research and evaluation? What ethics "myths" can we bust? And will Carolyn and Brian make it through a whole episode without mentioning #OMGMPQ? Tune in and find out!


Episode 5: Under Pressure - Evaluator Self-Care

Continuing on our October theme - what fears lie in the hearts of evaluators and how do we take the pressure off? Brian and Carolyn discuss the benefits of practicing mindfulness, saying no, and both connecting with and taking time away from other people. Start up the bubble bath and dig out your evaluator hat-crafting supplies, it’s time for some self-care! Show notes are available at https://evalcafe.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/episode-5-under-pressure-evaluator-self-care


Episode 4: (Don't Fear) The Evaluator

Grab your monster masks and a bag of candy, we're kicking off October with our scariest topic yet: the fear of evaluation! So what does evaluation have to do with quicksand and evil twins? How can evaluators be like the worst Batman ever? Will Brian and Carolyn manage to reference Michael Quinn Patton for a fourth episode in a row?? Tune in and find out! Show notes available at https://evalcafe.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/episode-4-dont-fear-the-evaluator/


Episode 3: Resident Eval - Apocalypse

Brian and Carolyn fill their knapsacks with useful evaluation resources (physical and intangible) in this instalment of Eval Cafe. What evaluation tools would be useful in a post-apocalyptic society? How many evaluators could you fit on a desert island? Are drinking games a useful tool for professional development and skills assessment? The answers to these questions may be found in this episode! (or not) Show notes available at...