The Community of Practice session will be held from 2:30 PM—3:15 PM on Tuesday May 11, 2021.

Pre-selection is required. Speaker bios can be found here. This session includes the following two concurrent classes:

How a Community of Practice Supported Public Health Evaluators During COVID-19

Presenters: Stephanie Gee, Rachel Harris, and Rachel Laxer

The COVID-19 pandemic has redirected public health priorities within Canada and has changed the way in which public health professionals work. For evaluators, this has meant embracing creative pragmatism; rethinking the organizational structure and function of evaluation; adapting stakeholder engagement processes; adopting different evaluation approaches (e.g., developmental, real-time); and modifying evaluation designs and methods. To ensure evaluation remained relevant and meaningful during the emergency response, these changes had to occur rapidly, and often with minimal resources. This session will present how the Ontario Public Health Evaluation Network (OPHEN) created a community of practice (COP), which supported public health evaluators to engage in evaluative thinking and adapt their evaluation practice within the context of COVID-19, as well as conduct quality evaluations of their local public health units’ response.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will be able to describe OPHEN and Public Health Ontario, the organizations’ objectives, and how each organization advances evaluation practice within Ontario public health.
2. Participants will be able to describe a COP and identify key principles of creating successful COPs.
3. Participants will understand how a COP can help build evaluation capacity during a public health emergency.

Credentialed Evaluator (CE) Competencies:

1.8: Engages in professional networks and activities and contributes to the evaluation profession and its community of practice.
3.5: Identifies and responds to changes in the context of the program and considers potential positive and negative impacts of the evaluation.
3.6: Engages in reciprocal processes in which evaluation knowledge and expertise are shared between the evaluator and stakeholders to enhance evaluation capacity for all.

Re-Imagining Evaluation Café Ontario

Presenters: Paul Bakker and Elaine Stavnitzky

This session will act as a primer to get attendees thinking about how they can shape and get the most out of evaluation communities of practice.  Evaluation Café Ontario started in 10 years ago as Evaluation Café Toronto.  Originally, it started as a way to connect evaluators (who often lacked evaluation colleagues in their organizations) to peers.  As connections solidified, the desire for knowledge sharing grew.  In 2020, The Water Well Evaluation Café group joined to connect evaluators in the Waterloo/Wellington regions.  COVID-19 also motivated us to move online, which came with the benefit of now being accessible to all of Ontario and beyond.  Drawing from Evaluation Café’s History, this session will provide tips, options, and lessons for getting the most out of evaluation communities of practice, and discuss possible future directions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will understand how to get the most out of being involved in an evaluation community of practice.
2. Participants will know how to get involved with Evaluation Café Toronto or Water Well Evaluation Café.
3. Participants will know how to start an evaluation community of practice/network of their own.

Credentialed Evaluator (CE) Competencies:

1.1 Knows evaluation theories, models, methods and tools and stays informed about new thinking and best practices.
1.7 Uses self-awareness and reflective thinking to continually improve practice.
1.8 Engages in professional networks and activities and contributes to the evaluation profession and its community of practice.