Save the dates! We’ll gather in Maastricht during the first year of the implementation of the global evaluation agenda 2016-2020. The EES Conference will be the opportunity for lively discussions on the contents of the agenda and for in-depth thinking on how to achieve its goals.
Moreover in the historic city where European leaders came together in 1992 to strengthen the institutional foundations of the Union the Conference will provide fora for conversations about the future directions that evaluation stakeholders should adopt in an increasingly interconnected, volatile and uncertain operating environment. European evaluation issues will be at the core of the conference: to address future priorities and challenges we want to contribute to defining, exploring and deepening our understanding of European evaluation traditions, and debate over the roles that evaluation could and should play for the betterment of societies in the future. The time will be ripe to discuss the status of evaluation in EU institutions in the context of better regulation. We will address key questions such as Where do we come from? What have we achieved? Where are we going?
At the same time we strongly value the unique international character of EES conferences and the rich debates fueled by international evaluation perspectives. Global evaluation challenges in the post-2015 world will be on the agenda. In the spirit of the sustainable development goals, this topic touches the sustainable and equitable future of all of us: we need to reach out across borders and put evaluation to work in dealing with the “problems without passport” that are plaguing an increasingly fractured and unequal world.
The three themes of the conference (connectivity, innovation and use) strike vital chords in our community’s current state of affairs. Without weaving evaluation theory and practice through innovative methods the evaluation community will not generate findings that are trustworthy and useful. Without closer connections to other sciences it will not achieve excellence. Without partnerships linking commissioners, evaluators and the citizenry, use of evaluation will falter. Nor will evaluation utilization improve human lives without professionalism, sound ethical standards and generally agreed good practice guidelines.
As in the past we expect to attract state of the art knowledge contributions, to trigger fulsome debates about evaluation practices and to provide ample networking opportunities. We will work closely with emerging evaluators in preparing and implementing the conference, and innovate with new participatory systems such as open space sessions to facilitate free flowing exchanges of views and uninhibited discourses. Once again let’s make our Society’s Biennial Conference the evaluation event of the year! We very much look forward to welcoming you in Maastricht.
Claudine Voyadzis, President and Riitta Oksanen, Vice President