It‘s almost July, but there is still plenty of time for proper celebration of the #EvalYear. If you are an evaluator, you are probably aware of some #EvalYear events in your country or a region. If not, see the list here, maybe you will find something. However, from my point of view, celebrating the #EvalYear is not only about conferences and other big events; it is also about adding some new flavor into your evaluation work. Basically, there are a lot of small but important things you can do on your own. Here are some of my proposals:
1. Have a coffee with your LinkedIn connections
Social networks significantly changed our world. Probably, there are dozens of evaluators among your social media followers, connections and friends. Many of them are just name and a photo, and you have never met them in a real life. Well, it’s time to change that. Meet one of your LinkedIn connections! If you and your “connection” are from the same town, arrange a meeting in a local coffee shop; if you are going to be in other city or country even for a short period of time, find a colleague there. For this action you will need few hours and few dollars, it is not too much. This is also an open call for all of you; if you are in Serbia feel free to contact me and we will arrange something (at least coffee).
2. Write something about the evaluation and share it with the world
One of the aims of the #EvalYear is to promote evaluation. Who would do it better than evaluators? So, if you are an evaluator, it is also your cup of tea and you can do it by sharing some of your ideas and thoughts. There are so many topics in evaluation that are waiting for you. Inspiration is all round. It doesn’t have to be a scientific paper. Write few paragraphs; promote evaluation as a concept; try to inspire others to think in evaluative way, to be curious, to ask questions. There are so many free platforms for writing, publishing and sharing articles around the web. You can start with the Facebook or LinkedIn. If you are not familiar with these, send it to me as a Word document and I will do it for you. If it is not too long, I will also translate it in Serbian and publish it as a guest post at my blog.
3. Learn something new
Well, this should be a way of living. If you want to keep up with so many new concepts, approaches, tendencies, etc. in development or “just” in evaluation, accept it, learning is a never ending story. Free articles, journals, webinars, blog posts, etc. are just few clicks away from you. You cannot read them all, but you can find time for some. Focus on one issue, set a target and try to reach it by the end of the #EvalYear. This is a low cost investment that will make you richer.
4. Share your knowledge
There are so many evaluators (emerging and experienced once) around the globe who would really appreciate your help or piece of advice. I am talking about real people, facing specific problems and looking for practical solutions. Be open, support their work. Answer to their “how to” or “now what, I am stacked” or any other question. Often, it is just a few hours of your time but it can make a real change in their work. You can do it remotely (via Skype or email) or while having a coffee (see the first point). If you want to be an #EvalYear hero, you can upgrade this knowledge sharing experience and offer a mentorship or conduct training. Be aware, by supporting and improving each other’s work we strengthen the whole profession.
5. Use the #EvalYear logo
It is one small step for you, but a giant leap for the promotion of the #EvalYear. By adding an #EvalYear logo next to your email signature, you will spread the word. You can find #EvalYear logo in different languages at EvalPartners’ website. It’s free!
Photo credit goes to Lars Erik Skrefsrud
Inspire and knowledge sharing illustrations are found on the web and I don't know who are the authors.