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Thursday, September 20 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm
'What about me?': A campfire session to co-design transformational self-care guidelines for evaluators

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Emma Williams (Northern Institute, CDU), John Stoney (Northern Institute, CDU)

Evaluators often - and increasingly - work in high risk, high stress situations. These include data collection in fragile states and conflict situations but also working in relatively 'safe' environments with evaluands in traumatic situations if the experience is sufficiently intense that the evaluator experiences vicarious trauma. Data collection when evaluating institutions of power presents its own challenges. Reporting also may provide a high risk, high stress point for evaluators. 'Telling truth to power' is seldom easy, and there are situations where it can have impacts on evaluators' career prospects and, in some settings, personal safety. Even the stress of juggling multiple projects with tight timelines that impose periods of little sleep, let alone adequate space for reflection, can impact on evaluator well-being. This presentation presents guidelines drafted in response to this issue and based on primary and secondary research:
  • Evaluation planning: self-care guidelines based in part on a transformation of ethical practice questions. (These often assume that the researcher/evaluator holds power and is not at risk; reverse-engineering the questions to consider potential risks to evaluator well-being proved a fruitful source of self-care guidelines.)
  • Debriefing guidelines: for use by evaluators after particularly stressful situations, based in part on transformed disaster management tools
  • Self-assessment: This checklist enables evaluators to assess their own capacity - including capacity for evaluative judgement - in high risk, high stress situations.The campfire session will use a co-design variant process involving pre-circulated materials to enable session participants to test and refine these draft guidelines. 


Dwi Ratih S. Esti

Flinders University
I've been interested in evaluations since joining the Directorate for Monitoring, Evaluating and Controlling of Regional Development at the Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia in 2007. At the moment, I am conducting an evaluation research as my doctoral... Read More →

avatar for John Stoney

John Stoney

AES Board
I've been an AES Board Member since 2016 and currently Chair the Advocacy and Alliances Committee (AAC), which supports the Influence portfolio of the 2016-19 AES Strategic Plan. At this years Conference the AAC is engaging with members to inform development of an AES Advocacy and... Read More →
avatar for Emma Williams

Emma Williams

Associate Professor, RREALI CDU Maburra
Emma is a Credentialed Evaluator and an Associate Professor at Charles Darwin University in Australia, where she researches, conducts and teaches evaluation, particularly realist evaluation. She has moved between government, academe and private consulting in evaluation over more than... Read More →

Thursday September 20, 2018 2:00pm - 3:00pm AEST
Conference centre