Evaluation in a changing world

June 19 to 21, 2023; workshops on June 17 and 18; international sharing on June 22

Monday: A legal standing for the St. Lawrence River

Me Yenny Vega Cárdenas

“A legal standing was recognized for the St. Lawrence River through the adoption of joint legislation, the result of negotiations between the governments of Quebec, Canada and the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.” Wouldn’t that change our relationship with the River, even our relationship with Nature. This change could be upon us; it will require major adjustments to the legal framework aimed at protecting water and ecosystems. Do we have to wait for further degradation of this “walking path”, as the First Nations call it, to act? Are we aware of the urgency to intervene? What consequences would flow from the recognition of the legal standing of nature?

Me Yenny Vega Cárdenas is a lawyer in Quebec and Colombia with a master's degree in business law and a doctorate in water law. She is president of the International Observatory for the Rights of Nature, expert for the UN Harmony with Nature network and special rapporteur for the research group of the Max Planck Institute on the rights of nature, decolonization and legal pluralism. She participated in the first declaration of recognition of legal personality of the Magpie River / Mutehekau Shipu and she campaigns for the recognition of the legal personality of the St. Lawrence River. She teaches the legal framework of water governance at Polytechnique Montréal and has taught public international law and comparative law at several Canadian and Latin American universities.

Monday: Discussants

Tammy Mudge

Tammy Mudge is L'nu (Illnew), from Glooscap First Nation, a mother of four and a member of the Mi'kmaq Nation. She is the Manager of Learning and Evaluation at Every One Every Day Kjipuktuk-Halifax, a non-profit organization working to build an ecosystem of inclusive and meaningful participation in and among neighbourhoods, and a part-time faculty member at Acadia University, where she teaches Decolonizing Community Development. She is an active community member and Co-founder and Chair of the Glooscap First Nation Family Recreation Committee. Tammy is also a member of the Atlantic Indigenous Evaluation Stewardship Circle. 

Guy Lacroix

Guy Lacroix is a full professor in the Department of Economics and holder of the Research Chair in Economic Evaluation of Public Programs. He completed a doctorate in economics from Laval University and a postdoctoral degree from Princeton University. He has published numerous articles in leading journals. He has taught program evaluation in Paris, in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Benin, Bolivia, Kenya, Senegal, the Philippines, etc., on behalf of the World Bank. He has also written numerous reports for provincial and federal departments.

Beth Snow

Dr. Beth Snow is Scientist and Head of Evaluation at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences. She is also the current vice-president of the CES. Beth’s work focuses on bridging the gap between research and evaluation evidence and health services delivery, with a strong interest in equity. She has conducted evaluations in a range of healthcare settings, including public health, acute care, and long-term care. She co-authored the textbook Nutrition Basics: An Active Approach, and led the creation of a model of engaging marginalised populations in health services planning.

Tuesday : Critical and evaluative thinking to foster transformation

Thomas Archibald

Faced with the complex challenges of the polycrisis, business as usual is unacceptable. Paradigmatic transformations are needed as civil society, industry, and governments rethink success in relation to social, economic, and ecological impacts. In this milieu, for evaluation to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable world, it must also transform. Reductionist, technical-rationalistic, compliance-oriented modes of thinking and evaluating appear inadequate. Evaluating transformation requires transforming evaluation, as one Blue Marble Evaluation principle suggests. One way to foster transformation in evaluation is to focus on critical and evaluative thinking. Evaluative thinking is both a fundamental philosophical concept at the heart of evaluation, and an approach to democratizing evaluation, to unleash the power of inquiry for social change. This presentation will share an overview of evaluative thinking, exploring paradoxes and paradigmatic assumptions that inhere this concept, in an effort to advance our collective efforts to evolve evaluation in this rapidly changing world. 

Thomas Archibald is the Executive Director of the Center for International Research, Education and Development at Virginia Tech, where he is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and is an Associate Editor of the journal Evaluation and Program Planning. A winner of the AEA Marcia Guttentag Promising New Evaluator Award, he received his PhD in Adult and Extension Education from Cornell University in 2013. Especially through his work on evaluative thinking, Tom is passionate about unleashing the power of inquiry to support a more just and sustainable world.

Tuesday: Discussant

Maude Marquis-Bissonnette

Maude Marquis-Bissonnette holds a doctorate in public policy from Carleton University. Her thesis focused on the role of cities in immigration. She is a professor of municipal management at École nationale d’administration publique. Her research interests concern municipal governance as well as intergovernmental collaboration. Prior to her university career, Dr Marquis-Bissonnette was a municipal councilor for the city of Gatineau, where she was involved in land use planning, environment, housing, immigration and living together. In 2021, she was elected leader of her political party and finished second in the mayoral race.

Wednesday: Program Evaluation in Quebec

Sarah Leclerc

In the Government of Quebec, the Treasury Board Secretariat is responsible for implementing a directive that governs government-wide programme evaluation. Based on the results of the evaluation of this directive, this session will first provide a picture of programme evaluation in Quebec since the adoption of the directive, put into perspective the main issues related to evaluation practice in the government administration and present how the Treasury Board Secretariat intends to position its interventions to adapt to these issues and thus better meet the needs of departments and agencies.

Holder of a bachelor's degree in administrative science and a 2nd cycle certificate in public administration, Sarah Leclerc is a member of the Ordre des comptables professionnels agréés du Québec (CPA). After 10 years of external audit work in a private firm, she became project manager at the Auditor General of Québec, then, in 2014, Director of performance audit. Subsequently, she held the position of Director of Internal Audit at Retraite Québec. She is currently Director General of Results-Based Management Governance at the Treasury Board Secretariat since November 2021.

Wednesday: discussant

Richard Marceau

Richard Marceau holds a bachelor's degree in physics, a master's degree in water science and a doctorate in political science.  He pursued a post-doctorate in public policy analysis. He made a career at the École nationale d'administration publique (ENAP) as a full professor until his retirement in 2012. He has contributed to teaching and research in policy and program evaluation and contributed to the creation of the ENAP doctoral program, which he directed for several years. He is the founding director of ENAP's Centre for Research and Expertise in Evaluation (CREXE). Since 2012, as an associate professor, he has been writing in the field of evaluation and contributes to international cooperation. He co-directs the Multilingual Evaluation Dictionary project with an international team in four languages.