Eastern Evaluation Research Society's Honors Eleanor Chelimsky

Video recap of the inaugural Eleanor Chelimsky Forum on Theory and Practice in Evaluation.

    • April 15, 2013
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The inaugural Eleanor Chelimsky Forum was held at The Eastern Evaluation Research Society's (EERS) 36th Annual Conference, April 14-16, 2013.

In this forum, participants discussed strategies for breaking through the complexity and messiness of evaluation practices to build evaluation theory and generalizable knowledge.

Two well-known authorities in the field of evaluation, Michael Quinn Patton and Tom Schwandt, discuss new and persistent problems in the fit between theory and practice, and propose solutions to resolve the problems. Laura C. Leviton, Senior Adviser for Evaluation at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, facilitated the session.

 

Origin of the Eleanor Chelimsky Forum

Through the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), EERS has launched the Eleanor Chelimsky Forum.

The genesis of the Forum derives from a plenary paper titled, Balancing Theory and Practice in the Real World, authored by Eleanor Chelimsky, for the 2012 EERS Annual Conference. Recognizing the interdependence of evaluation theory and practice for developing best practices, and the often divergent views of theorists and practitioners regarding what should be considered as important, Chelimsky recommended that a forum be established to mediate the divide between “principle and context.”Her vision was that theory and practice would inform each other and, in that learning process, both would be inspired to stretch, to bend a little, to grow,” thereby adding “breadth, depth and realism to our work.”