Pact at AEA 2023

October 3, 2023
The American Evaluation Association is hosting their annual conference, Evaluation 2023, in Indianapolis, Indiana, October 9-14, 2023. Credit: American Evaluation Association.

This year, 10 Pact staff members will present at the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference in 14 presentations across 7 panels, 1 demonstration and 1 think tank discussion. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Power of Story,” which focuses on how evaluation fuels stories – how evaluation shapes how we make sense of the world – and how stories, in turn, fuel evaluation – how the narratives we use to make sense of the world also shape our practice of evaluation. 

Pact will share its evaluation innovations and adaptations in contexts as diverse as Cambodia, Colombia, Somalia, Ukraine and Zambia, and on topics ranging from the measurement of social movements, supporting the livelihoods of marginalized women, delivering on high-quality health data amidst war and more.

Cross-cutting themes of Pact’s contributions include our focus on complexity-aware evaluation, which is a way of thinking and an approach to evaluation that takes into account the nonlinear and often unexpected nature of change, and our focus on empowering local stakeholders through our evaluative practice. We will be presenting on alternative ways to think about methodological rigor in complex contexts, new ways of tailoring methodologies like Outcome Harvesting and Process Tracing, and nontraditional data collection techniques to reach marginalized demographics.  

Presentations featuring Pact staff include:

Wednesday, October 11
Innovations in Complexity-Responsiveness: Methodological and Transformative Approaches, 4:15-5:15 pm EST
Pact Chair: Kate Krueger
Pact presentations:

  • “Politics is more difficult than physics”: Complexity and the challenge of democracy, human rights, and governance program evaluation (Presenter: Alysson Akiko Oakley)

Thursday, October 12
Innovations in Complexity-Responsiveness: Practical and Operational Realities, 10:15-11:15 am EST
Pact Chair: Alysson Akiko Oakley
Pact presentations:

  • Nimble adaptation: Tailoring monitoring, evaluation, and learning methods to provide actionable data in complex environments (Presenter: Lauren Serpe)
  • Theory amidst complexity – using process tracing in ex-post evaluations (Presenter: Kate Krueger)

Using a mix of complexity-responsive qualitative MERL methods to help develop a holistic narrative on the life of project impact in Cambodia, 11:30am-12:30 pm EST
Pact Presenter: Tripti Pande

Using innovative storytelling and non-traditional data collection techniques to understand the needs of women in the cut-flower and sugarcane sectors in Colombia, 2:30-3:30 pm EST
Pact Presenters: Diana Morales, Maria Camilla Chaparro, Tripti Pande

Ukraine: Resilience in the face of conflict- How two Ukrainian health projects adapted when data became a moving target, 5:00-6:00 pm EST
Pact Chair: Lauren Serpe
Pact presentations:

  • Data as a moving target: How adaptations to a community HIV program's M&E enabled critical service provision to vulnerable populations in a time of war (Presenter: Kateryna Krasnikova)
  • Data as a moving target: How one M&E team is meeting the data challenges of war head-on (Presenter: Ihor Matviichuk)

Friday, October 13
To adapt or not to adapt? Retaining quality when tailoring Outcome Harvesting, 10:15-11:15 am EST
Pact Chair: Lauren Serpe
Pact presentations:

  • Flexibility in Outcome Harvesting approaches: when do you draw the line? (Presenter: Tripti Pande)
  • How far is too far when tailoring Outcome Harvesting? Reflections from an INGO's case study review (Presenter: Lauren Serpe)
  • Pain or Gain: Outcome Harvesting methodological flexibilities and its pitfalls in field implementation to draw a complete story of the project (Presenter: Kyaw Thura Tun)

Reframing rigor: evaluation practitioner perspectives on tradeoffs and transformations, 11:30am-12:30pm EST
Pact Chair: Kate Krueger
Pact presentations:

  • Debating rigor through a framework of shared objectives and tradeoffs (Presenter: Kate Krueger)
  • Conceptualizing rigor across paradigms and into the practical (Presenter: Alysson Akiko Oakley)

Saturday, October 14
Improving our Collective Story through Greater Inclusion in Publishing, 8:00-9:00 am EST
Pact Co-Chair: Alysson Akiko Oakley

It’s a different story: assessment and evaluation with social movements, 9:15-10:15 am EST
Pact Chair: Laura Adams

We hope to see you in Indianapolis for AEA 2023! Follow @PactWorld on Twitter for more from the conference!

To learn more about AEA’s annual meeting, visit the conference website.

Learn more about Pact's Learning and Evidence practice.