Fellow Evaluators --
Five months into a remarkable year for the field of program evaluation in the Washington, DC area, our organization is as active as ever. I am continuously reminded of the incredible dedication those in the DC-area demonstrate to promoting and advocating for evaluation, and I am inspired by the commitment our members show to bettering the field and our profession.
The spirit of strengthening evaluation is widespread, and that is precisely the motivation that led to the creation of a new Washington Evaluators 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, approved by the Board of Directors on May 17, 2017. I would especially like to thank the Board for their efforts in drafting the plan and all of the members who provided feedback on an earlier draft in recent weeks to support improving our organization.
A hallmark of the evaluation profession is assessing actions against stated goals. With the creation of this plan, Washington Evaluators as an organization is not only demonstrating the value of this proposition, but actively pursuing a well-known organizational best practice. This strategic plan has been developed to serve as a guide for Washington Evaluators for the remainder of this year and in coming years, as the organization strives to focus on "Strengthening the Evaluation Community in the Washington, DC Area."
Currently Washington Evaluators performs well on many levels, but there is always room for improvement and a need to know where we are starting from. As Washington Evaluators becomes more mature as an organization, this plan will be a guide for the Board of Directors and enable the development of annual action plans that contribute to achieving longer-term goals. It is my hope and intent that in coming years, future Boards will review and update the plan to ensure that the members of Washington Evaluators are receiving useful services and professional development opportunities that truly serve the Washington, DC community well for years to come.
And to demonstrate how progress will be made in accomplishing the goals and objectives in the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, the Board is pleased to also announce a 2017 Action Plan as a complement, with specific short-term goals the Board will pursue this year. All of these actions are reasonably attainable – and some are even bold and ambitious – as Washington Evaluators embarks on a renewed effort for continuous organizational improvement.
The Board and our many volunteers have much work to do in this exciting year for evaluation in DC, but we are up to the challenge. On behalf of the entire Board, we look forward to your continued participation in the Washington Evaluators community.
Nicholas R. Hart, Ph.D.