John Biles

Respondents: Victoria Esses, Director, Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations, Western and Gerry Mills, Director, Operations, Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS)Halifax

Title: From "Alchemy" to Outcomes: Fostering an Integrated Society - Evaluating Our Performance?

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Canadian Multiculturalism Act comprise two vital components of a suite of legislation that commit the Government of Canada to facilitating the full participation of all Canadians in the civic, social, cultural and economic facets of Canadian society. This presentation will focus on an assessment of how successful Canada has been in this regard before turning to a focus on what more than a dozen evaluations and audits of settlement and immigration programs can tell us about the efficacy of the nearly $1 billion the Government of Canada expends every year on programs designed to facilitate the settlement and integration of newcomers to Canada.

Bio: John Biles presently holds the position of special advisor to the Director General of Integration Branch at Citizenship and Immigration Canada. In this capacity he is, among other things, responsible for ensuring that research, evaluation and audit findings inform the ongoing national review of settlement programs. Prior to this he was a member of the Metropolis Secretariat for more than a dozen years. Metropolis is the largest policy-research network in the world focused on immigration, integration and diversity. His research interests include integration, multiculturalism, welcoming communities, political participation, and religion and public policy. His recent publications include a bevy of edited volumes on integration including: (2012) International Perspectives: Integration and Inclusion; (2012) Immigration, Integration and Inclusion in Ontario Cities; (2011) Integration and Inclusion of Newcomers and Minorities Across Canada; (2008) Immigration and Integration in Canada in the Twenty-first Century.

Rodney K. Hopson

Respondents: Jennifer Greene, Professor Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, past President of AEA and Martha Maguire, current President of the Canadian Evaluation Society and the founder of Cathexis Consulting

Title: Decolonizing Evaluation, Valuing Evaluation in the Public Good

The larger practice and intent of evaluation serves generally to make better local and global situations and settings. As an instrument of the public good within complex ecologies, evaluation can just as well misdirect, be misapplied, and even colonize. The talk title supposes that a decolonizing stance in evaluation interrogates ways of thinking and doing that tend to be imposed on groups, peoples, and communities, most often upon those who have the least and the most vulnerable.

Bio: Rodney K. Hopson is Professor, Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the School of Education, and teaching faculty member in the Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research, in the School of Liberal Arts, Duquesne University. He received his Ph.D. from the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia and has done post-doctoral/sabbatical studies in the Faculty of Education, University of Namibia, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Centre of African Studies, Cambridge University. Currently, he serves as 2012 President of the American Evaluation Association.

Hopson’s research interests lie in social politics and policies, foundations of education, sociolinguistics, ethnography, and evaluation. Relative to his varied research and evaluation interests, Hopson raises questions that 1) analyze and address the differential impact of education and schooling on marginalized and underrepresented groups in the United States, southern Africa, and other nation states that attempt come to terms with democracy, social change, and equity and 2) seek solutions to social and educational conditions in the form of alternative paradigms, epistemologies, and methods for the way the oppressed and marginalized succeed in global societies.

With funding support from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, National Science Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and other funding streams, Hopson has raised funding support for graduate and post-graduate students of color in natural and social sciences to contribute to the development of interests that focus on democratically-oriented evaluation and research approaches and practices in traditionally underserved communities in the U.S.

Steve Montague

Respondents: Kaireen Chaytor, Professor, Centre for Advanced Management Education, Dalhousie, Fellow of the Canadian Evaluation Society and Nancy Porteous, past president of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), past chair of the CES Educational Fund and former member of the Executive Board of the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation.

Title: Valuing Difference - The Key to Evaluation Evidence

Decision-makers are often misled by audits, aggregates and averages. This presentation will argue that the most important results stories are often found by looking at the varying results occurring in different groups under different conditions – not by checking for compliance to 'standards', 'summing' the accounts or reporting statistical means. Furthermore, the presenter will suggest that in complex, dynamic and typically heterogeneous environments, a new set of evaluation principles is required. The themes include:

  • examining reach and results together;
  • 'particularizing' vs. 'generalizing';
  • needs-focused 'progress measures' using a common lens and language vs. imposed score
  • card performance measures fitting a top down framework; and,
  • structuring approaches to tap the knowledge of a range of sources closest to the issues vs. standardizing methods in the name of 'neutrality'

Examples will be drawn from a broad range of areas to focus on answering the key question of "What works (to what extent) for whom in what conditions and why?" and to show how valuing difference can become the key to doing useful evaluations in the modern era.

Bio: Steve Montague has three decades of experience in performance planning and measurement, program evaluation, market research, review and audit projects as a management consultant and as an evaluation manager in a major Canadian federal government department. Mr. Montague has managed major projects analyzing a wide variety of programs for Canadian federal, provincial, United States, and Australian governments, as well as conducting work for the OECD, the Scottish Government and the World Bank. Steve is perhaps best known for his championing of ‘reach’ as a key concept in evaluation – an insight which has been recognized internationally. He has three times been distinguished for his contribution to Canadian evaluation. While working in the Federal service in the mid 1980’s he received a Government of Canada merit award for his contribution to a technology centre evaluation study. Steve received the Karl Boudreault Award for Leadership in Evaluation in 2003 and he was made a fellow of the Canadian Evaluation Society in May 2011.

CES Halifax 2012

  • Pre-Conference Workshops: May 13, 2012
  • Conference: May 13-16, 2012
  • Westin Hotel, Halifax Nova Scotia