The European Evaluation Society (EES) is delighted to announce that it will hold its Conference online this year from 8-10 September 2021, with online Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) occurring on 6-7 September 2021.

Titled EES Goes Virtual: Evaluation in an Uncertain World: Complexity, Legitimacy and Ethics, the Conference’s 90+ sessions and keynote addresses will be highly interactive and focus on four main themes (more information below).

In addition, the Online Conference format will include discussion boards and opportunities for virtual networking and informal discussion.

NEW FEATURE: Conference attendees will have access to the recordings of all sessions for up to six months after the Conference!

Pricing: Pricing for attending the PDWs and/or Conference is provided below:

PDW Pricing

Category Price
EES Member 150 EUR
Non-EES Member 200 EUR
Bursary Recipient Free!

Conference Pricing

Category Price
EES Member 95 EUR
Non-EES Member 120 EUR
Student / Young and Emerging Evaluator* EES Member 30 EUR
Student / Young and Emerging Evaluator Non-EES Member 55 EUR
Bursary Recipient Free!

*A Young and Emerging Evaluator (YEE) must meet the EvalYouth definition AND not work for an international organisation/company/non-profit.

More information about the Conference is provided below:

Conference Themes:

Theme 1: The Anthropocene and its complex problems: The role of Evaluation

In this theme, presenters will address the bigger conceptual questions, by moving away from a purely philosophical or very pessimistic view, and rather focus on providing constructive perspectives or solutions.

Questions this theme’s presentations will address include:

Theme 2: Adapting the toolbox: Methodological Challenges

This theme aims to allow presenters to focus on practical tools (share tools, discuss tools, etc.) and on the practicalities of using these (can they be used, do they deliver the expected data, what are the ethical concerns). Presenters will discuss an interesting way of using well-known tools to address uncertainty or suggest new tools, and draw the link between tools and challenges, identify main problems of using specific tools, and examine how these can be resolved.

Questions this theme’s presentations will address include:

Theme 3: Propelling and provoking the agenda: The role and responsibility of evaluators

This theme is mainly about approaches to evaluation rather than about practical tools to conduct evaluations. Presenters will focus on a single (or limited) number of approaches, try to highlight shortcomings and advantages, and make suggestions or explore options that lead to practical solutions. This theme is about the responsibility of evaluators, and will focus on real world discussions.

Questions this theme’s presentations will address include:

Theme 4: Greasing the wheels of evaluation: the role of evaluators, evaluation commissioners and evaluators funders (donors) in ensuring that knowledge changes practice

This theme is about the relationships between evaluators and other key actors. Presenters will focus on specific aspects of the different roles and how these can better respond to current challenges (uncertain world). Good discussion will ensue from a focus on successes (evaluations that were widely used/impactful) and from comparison with experiences where evaluations were not useful or impactful. Presenters will explore what made the difference and what factors can support the improved use of evaluations in future.

Questions this theme’s presentations will address include:


Professional Development Workshops (6-7 September 2021):

Just as with EES’ traditional in-person conferences, the first two days will be dedicated to pre-conference Professional Development Workshops (PDWs). To best suit the online format, each workshop will consist of a two 2.5 hour sessions in the morning and afternoon on either Monday 6 June or Tuesday 7 June.

Workshop facilitators from around the world have been selected not only for their expertise on the proposed topic, but also for their facilitation skills, including in virtual formats.

Please note that workshops are not the same as webinars. Participants will be expected to actively engage, and there will be opportunity for interactions both with the facilitators and other participants. For example, facilitators will make use of breakout rooms such as for small-group exercises, online white boards and annotation tools, etc.

To maximise interaction, the number of participants for each workshop will be limited. Make sure to register early for the workshop of your choice to avoid disappointment!

More information on the proposed workshops will be available shortly.


Conference Session Modalities (8-10 September 2021):

In addition to the classic presentation formats of panels and individual paper presentations, the EES Conference will also include more innovative session types to ignite lively discussion and energise innovative thinking. Full information is provided below on the types of session format available:

Keynotes: Each day of the conference will begin with a keynote address to set the stage for the days’ sessions.

Papers: Individuals wishing to present a paper on an individual basis. These are papers that are not part of a panel. Paper presenters will be asked if they want to chair/be discussants. Papers will be placed within a panel by conference organizers.

Panels: This modality follows the presentation of single papers. Each panel will include 3-4 paper presentations and a chair.

Round Tables: This modality is more flexible than papers, can include short presentations, but generally focused on a discussion held by different key individuals on the panel and driven by a discussant. Each panel should include 3-4 paper presentations and a discussant. Authors/contributors cannot propose a topic for a panel as individual contributions. Rather a panel must include all elements.

Think Tank Sessions: These are sessions where a single presentation will be done – some 15 minutes, then key questions will be introduced and individual groups will be asked to examine specific questions. The objectives of these sessions is for discussion to follow specific topic or aspects of a topic and generate clear ideas/thoughts etc. These will be working sessions where presenters can make active use of their audience to further their specific discussions on a subject.

Tools in Use, Changing Tools: These sessions should focus on a presentation of a tool or tool set. These sessions will focus on sharing practical skills and potentially delving into discussions on challenges and modification. Presenters can also identify key questions on how the tools can be used, challenges faced etc. These can include one or more presenters and the format can be upon to the presenters. Importantly, it is a way of highlighting methodological tools.

Fishbowl: This type of session is best served for the discussion of issues surrounding a common theme, rather than the presentation of papers. The objective is to bring together different perspectives or points of view surrounding a single subject. The modality should include a brief introduction by starting participants, and a moderator. Min 4-max 6, moderator, a presenter, 2 start discussant to frame the discussion. Contributions to fishbowls must be introduced as a single even and include all participants.

Birds of a Feather: Informal group that comes together to discuss a specific topic. The sessions will allow for all participants to introduce each other and hold informal discussions surrounding a specific topic. There are no presentations. They require 1 or 2 people who would like to discuss a specific subject and for them to propose the subject and detail some of the issues they want to cover.

More information on the Conference sessions will be available shortly.


Networking Opportunities (8-10 September 2021):

Attendees will have the ability to network through various features of the EES Online Conference.

First, attendees can join and create Virtual Meet-Ups for different topics to further discuss. These informal, ad hoc virtual sessions allow attendees to further discuss proposed themes at their own mutually convenient time. For more information click on “Community” on the left hand side of the screen, and then “Meet-ups & Virtual Meets.”

Next, attendees can also connect on the Community Discussion Board to post comments and engage with each other and speakers on the Conference’s themes, or other relevant topics.For more information click on “Community” on the left hand side of the screen.

Lastly, attendees can directly contact each other through the Conference platform’s private messaging option. Check it out by clicking on “Messages” on the left hand side of the screen.

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