October 24, 2018

Next week is the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Annual Conference and we are looking forward to a week of learning, connecting, and getting inspired with our colleagues. We will be gathering in Cleveland, Ohio with a community of evaluators from around the world, focused on this year’s theme - Speaking Truth to Power. It is a theme that resonates deeply with our core values here at Learning for Action, where we work to actively include and amplify the voices of people who are most affected by injustice. At this year’s conference, you can find us leading two sessions focusing on this theme:

Leadership Development: We know it’s important. Everyone’s doing it. Why is it so hard to evaluate? 

Thursday, November 1, 1:45 - 2:30 pm

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Rachel Lipton, Consultant at LFA, will be leading a roundtable discussion focused on the challenges of evaluating leadership development and how she and her colleagues have tackled them. Leadership development is a targeted capacity-building strategy for affecting individual-, organization-, and field-level outcomes. It is also frequently used to strengthen movement building efforts. Nonprofits and foundations are increasingly investing in leadership development and then engaging evaluators to understand the contribution of leadership development to multiple levels of outcomes. Leadership development is a buzz word for evaluators and their clients, but it is challenging to evaluate! Why is this nut so hard to crack? How can leadership development evaluations link back to programmatic and funding strategies? This roundtable session will give other participants the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences in evaluating leadership development.

Asking about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI): The power (and tradeoffs) of inviting people to speak their truth

Friday, November 2, 5:00 - 5:45 pm


JT Taylor, LFA’s Director of Equitable Practice, will be leading a session that provides an overview of the evolving language of identity in today’s LGBTQ community in the US and shares various approaches to asking about sexual orientation and gender identity in surveys, with an interactive discussion of the uses and tradeoffs of each. LGBTQ identity is more complicated than the letters in the acronym suggest. If you want to ask LGBTQ people to share their identities in your survey, you can make more informed, sensitive, and effective survey question design choices for your context and purpose by understanding the range of identities and the history of homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that LGBTQ community members have experienced when identified (and of erasure when not identified), all of which can complicate the act of asking. Participants will leave with a more nuanced understanding of LGBTQ identities and important considerations for deciding whether and how to ask respondents about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

We hope you will join our sessions or find an opportunity to connect at AEA!