June 7, 2019 News

Lots of local events for this post!

Saskatoon Events

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, as part of their “Courageous Conversation” speaker series, will be hosting a conversation on June 13 at 10am with Colleen Christopherson-Cote on the SPRP’s “12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty in Saskatoon”. For more information or to RSVP, contact Adam Hawboldt at (306) 229-7169 or by email at adam.hawboldt@nullgov.sk.ca .

Earlier this week the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls presented its final report, building on over two years of cross-country public hearings and evidence gathering and including 231 individual Calls for Justice. On June 14 at 8:30am, the University of Saskatchewan’s Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy will host a conversation with Chief Commissioner Marion Buller and Commissioner Brian Eyolfson to learn more about the report.

The Canadian Evaluation Society’s Saskatchewan Chapter is hosting a full-day workshop on June 18, featuring Kim van der Woerd and Billie Joe Rogers, on the topic of Culturally Responsive Evaluation with Indigenous Populations. If you’ll be in attendance, come find me and say hi!

Also on June 18, WDM Saskatoon and the Saskatoon PRIDE Festival are hosting “Spark Your Pride: Sharing Our Stories, Celebrating Our Lives”. Incorporating a mix of ceremony, discussions, readings, and even line dancing (!), the event will focus on how storytelling, art, music, and other creative avenues can help express personal history, honour Indigenous traditions, revisit and recount past trauma, and explore healing. I just wish it wasn’t the same day as the evaluation workshop!

June 21 is recognized as National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with events around the country. In Saskatoon, the fourth-annual “Rock your Roots” event welcomes everyone of all backgrounds and experiences to walk together to re-ignite the fire of reconciliation. The walk itself starts at 9:30 at Victoria Park, with ceremony beforehand and a public lunch and entertainment afterwards. The event organizers are also still looking for volunteers in various roles.

May 23, 2019 News

In addition to the news below, note that I will be heading out to Halifax this weekend for the 2019 Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) conference. Keep an eye on my Twitter feed if you’re interested in what’s happening there!

Saskatoon Events

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, as part of their “Courageous Conversation” speaker series, will be hosting a conversation on May 30, 10am at their Saskatoon office with Father Andre Poilievre, Stan Tu’inukuafe, and members of STR8UP on the journey to becoming an Indigenous gang member, factors that lead young people to the gang life, and the Medicine Wheel as a holistic model for healing. For more information or to RSVP, contact Adam Hawboldt at (306) 229-7169 or by email at adam.hawboldt@nullgov.sk.ca .

The Saskatchewan Nonprofit Partnership is hosting a one-day Provincial Summit on June 7, with a focus on exploring “current and future priorities for the nonprofit sector in Saskatchewan, and [considering] potential models for how the sector can collaborate to address these priorities”.

The Canadian Evaluation Society’s Saskatchewan Chapter is hosting a full-day workshop on June 18, featuring Kim van der Woerd and Billie Joe Rogers, on the topic of Culturally Responsive Evaluation with Indigenous Populations. If you’ll be in attendance, come find me and say hi!

Surveys

The Saskatoon Early Years Partnership is looking for input from community agencies and parents to help develop a new Early Years Family Resource Centre (FRC) in Saskatoon.

Reconciliation Canada is looking for individual experiences and perspectives related to the work of reconciliation across Canada.

May 8, 2019 News

Going forward, I’ll be posting on a twice-monthly basis, corresponding roughly to the first and third weeks of the month. From my experience in sharing events of interest to Saskatoon-based non-profit folks, I think that schedule will capture the majority of events while avoiding posts where all (or almost all) listings are simple repeats of the previous post. That being said, I’ll keep my evaluator hat1 on and adjust this schedule as needed!

Saskatoon Events

Leadership Saskatoon is hosting an Extended Conversation in their Lunch and Learn series on Wednesday May 15 to demonstrate how to host a World Cafe, using Everyday Leadership as the sample topic.

KM [Knowledge Mobilization] in the AM welcomes Dr. Colleen Dell on Tuesday May 16 for a discussion on how to include community members in research.

The Saskatchewan Nonprofit Partnership is hosting a one-day Provincial Summit on June 7, with a focus on exploring “current and future priorities for the nonprofit sector in Saskatchewan, and [considering] potential models for how the sector can collaborate to address these priorities”.

The Canadian Evaluation Society’s Saskatchewan Chapter is hosting a full-day workshop on June 18, featuring Kim van der Woerd and Billie Joe Rogers, on the topic of Culturally Responsive Evaluation with Indigenous Populations.

Online Events

Community-Based Research Canada (CBRC) is hosting a series of monthly webinars on topics related to (you guessed it) Community-Based Research. The first one takes place on Wednesday May 15 with the topic of Research Ethics as Praxis: Being Mindful of Potential Harm and Benefits to Research Participants.

Online Resources

Vu Le shares the challenges, frustrations, and humour of working in the non-profit sector through his blog, Nonprofit AF. One post earlier this year falls squarely in the latter category by applying Marie Kondo’s KonMari method to tidying your organization, both in terms of physical clutter (including expired snacks!) and relationships – asking whether board members, volunteers, staff, and even funders continue to “spark joy” or whether they should be thanked and let go.

  1. Not a literal hat, though if you know of such an article of clothing that exists in the real world, please let me know!

Community Psychology in a minute (or two)

In a recent Eval Cafe podcast episode, my co-host Carolyn Camman and I had a great conversation with Evan Poncelet about our professional journeys in the field of evaluation. All three of us come from an applied psychology background, and I spoke a bit about the influence and grounding I have courtesy of my “home field” of community psychology. For whatever reason, though, I sometimes find it difficult to provide a succinct definition of what community psychology is, or what it means to work from that perspective.

Fortunately, just last week a community psychologist, Leonard Jason, appeared on “The Academic Minute” podcast and in my opinion knocked it out of the park with explaining who we are and what we do (and in less than two minutes to boot!). The link above has both the audio and a full transcript of Dr. Jason’s presentation – I was originally planning to pull out a representative quote or two, but it’s short enough (as the podcast title implies) so I recommend simply going ahead and listening or reading it in its entirety.

March 13, 2019 News

Apologies for missing last week’s news – I blame travel and March Madness (of the non-profit variety, not basketball!). On the plus side, the weather is definitely improving outside – perhaps not difficult after one of the coldest February’s on record – and the calendar is beginning to fill up with local spring events.

Saskatoon Events

Leadership Saskatoon is hosting a Lunch and Learn panel discussion on Wednesday March 20 on the topic of Human Rights, Volunteers & Your Workplace.

The fifth-annual YXE Connects, an annual one-stop shop for community services and supports in Saskatoon, will be taking place on Monday May 6. Registration is now open for service providers, volunteer hairdressers and barbers, and general volunteers.

Technically not in Saskatoon, but Tamarack Community Institute is hosting a workshop in Edmonton on Asset-Based Community Development May 28-30. I’ve heard that there are some folks here in Saskatoon who are looking to register and travel together to save on costs and thus help build capacity in this area locally – if you’re interested in attending this workshop, drop me a line and I can put you in touch with those people.

Kim van der Woerd (Eval Cafe alum!) and Billie Joe Rogers are returning to Saskatoon on June 18 to lead a one-day workshop on Culturally Responsive Evaluation with Indigenous Populations.

Saskatoon Resources

The Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership’s 12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty document is now available for download.

Leadership Saskatoon is accepting applications for their flagship 10-month leadership development program.

February 21, 2019 News


Not much new this week, aside from the opening of a grant opportunity through the Saskatoon Community Foundation. Sometimes it’s just a slow news week, I guess!

The next news post here will be the week of March 4.

Saskatoon Events

The University of Saskatchewan’s Community Relations and Engagement Office is hosting a talk and workshop on February 27 with Jayne Malenfant on the topic of “Youth, Lived Experience and Inclusion in Community Research”. More details in the poster.

Technically not in Saskatoon, but Tamarack Community Institute is hosting a workshop in Edmonton on Asset-Based Community Development May 28-30. I’ve heard that there are some folks here in Saskatoon who are looking to register and travel together to save on costs and thus help build capacity in this area locally – if you’re interested in attending this workshop, drop me a line and I can put you in touch with those people.

Online Events

Kylie Hutchison will be leading a webinar on February 26 on hosting data parties.

Mark Cabaj and Galen MacLusky are hosting a Tamarack webinar on the Systems Change Evaluation Canvas on March 12.

Saskatoon Resources

Leadership Saskatoon is accepting applications for their flagship 10-month leadership development program

Saskatoon Community Foundation has opened their call for proposals for the Youth Endowment Saskatoon (YES) fund, with a focus on supporting healthy living for children and youth.

February 13, 2019 News

Fun fact: -40 is the point where the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales converge. Do not ask me why I had reason to figure this out!

Saskatoon Events

The University of Saskatchewan’s Community Relations and Engagement Office is hosting a talk and workshop on February 27 with Jayne Malenfant on the topic of “Youth, Lived Experience and Inclusion in Community Research”. More details in the poster.

Technically not in Saskatoon, but Tamarack Community Institute is hosting a workshop in Edmonton on Asset-Based Community Development May 28-30. I’ve heard that there are some folks here in Saskatoon who are looking to register and travel together to save on costs and thus help build capacity in this area locally – if you’re interested in attending this workshop, drop me a line and I can put you in touch with those people.

Online Events

Kylie Hutchison will be leading a webinar on February 26 on hosting data parties.

Mark Cabaj and Galen MacLusky are hosting a Tamarack webinar on the Systems Change Evaluation Canvas on March 12.

Resource of the Week

Leadership Saskatoon is now accepting applications for their flagship 10-month leadership development program. I’m a grad of the program (Class of 2014) and have since co-facilitated a half-day session for the program and also act as a mentor. For more information on the application process, check out Leadership Saskatoon’s website.

February 5, 2019 News

Some great events happening this week in Saskatoon – though if you want to stay indoors with the weather (or if you’re reading this in a place where “snow” and “cold” are four letter words), we’ve got you covered too with a couple of online evaluation-related events coming up.

Saskatoon events

The University of Saskatchewan is celebrating Indigenous Achievement Week this week, with multiple events on campus including an awards ceremony on Thursday afternoon (February 7th).

Also on February 7th, the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership is publicly releasing “12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty in Saskatoon” at Station 20 West, starting at 10am. Full disclosure: I have participated in some of the discussions and planning work around this document.

Interested in knowledge mobilization? KM in the AM is hosting a morning workshop February 11th on brave, honest conversations.

Reconciliation Saskatoon’s Learning Committee is presenting a KAIROS blanket exercise – an interactive experience looking at Canadian history from an Indigenous viewpoint – on February 15th at Station 20 West.

Online events

SFU is hosting a free webinar on their Evaluation Certificate program on February 12 (which includes past Eval Cafe guest Kim van der Woerd as an instructor!)

Kylie Hutchison (another Eval Cafe alum!) will be leading a webinar on February 26 on hosting data parties.

Mark Cabaj and Galen MacLusky are hosting a Tamarack webinar on the Systems Change Evaluation Canvas on March 12.

Resource of the week

February is Black History Month, and the Centre for Social Innovation has a great annotated reading list for anyone interested in learning more about both the historic context and present day realities.

January 29, 2019 News

As hinted at earlier this month, one area I would like to (re-)start on this website is regular news updates. While Saskatoon can often feel like a small town, especially in the non-profit sector, it has grown to the point where we have many interesting events happening – and more importantly, we can’t just rely on word of mouth or “being in the know” to be aware of all of them! And of course, there’s a whole sea of online events that can be useful where you are (and which conveniently don’t require you to leave your home or office when it’s -35 out!).

So, I’m trying the regular news format again to help provide a coherent signal amidst the noise for Saskatoon-based nonprofits. It’ll be a weekly update on Tuesdays (to start) and include both Saskatoon-specific items and online events, with a focus on Strong Roots Consulting’s strengths – namely, community-based research, strategic planning, and program evaluation.

This week we have a couple of last minute events in town combined with a good range of evaluation-related online learning opportunities – so if you have professional development funds to be used up before fiscal year end, make sure to check them out! And finally, some good news from CRA (how often can you say that?) for organizations with charitable status who also engage in advocacy or public education work.

Saskatoon events

Tomorrow (January 30) Erin Ryan-Walsh of William Joseph is hosting a free workshop on Marketing for Nonprofits. Seating is limited and registration is required – they have an earlier session that has already filled up, so if you’re interested don’t delay in signing up!

The Saskatchewan chapter of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES-SK) is holding a meet and great tomorrow evening (January 30) at the Thirsty Scholar. Open to anyone who is interested in evaluation!

Finally, next Thursday, February 7, the Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership is publicly releasing 12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty in Saskatoon at Station 20 West. Full disclosure: I have participated in some of the discussions and planning work around this document, and I’m glad to see it go forward! See poster for more details.

Online events

CES-SK will be offering the Essential Skills Series for learning the basics about program evaluation through an online format starting February 4.

Another online evaluation-related course, the Art of Evaluating in Complexity, begins February 5 and runs for the four Tuesdays in that month. Full disclosure: Chris Corrigan was a recent guest on Eval Cafe, and Carolyn Camman (co-host on the podcast) is one of the guest presenters for the course.

Later in February, SFU is hosting a free webinar on their Evaluation Certificate program (which includes past Eval Cafe guest Kim van der Woerd as an instructor!).

Kylie Hutchison (another Eval Cafe alum!) will be leading a webinar on February 26 on hosting data parties.

News of the Week

I often joke that I’m not a lawyer and I don’t even play one on TV, but here’s some welcome news from folks who are in fact lawyers: CRA Releases Draft Guidance on New Rules Permitting Charities to Engage in ‘Public Policy Dialogue and Development Activities’ (hat tip to the Centre for Social Innovation’s newsletter). From a brief non-lawyerly read, it seems that CRA is more explicitly allowing activities that were formerly in a grey zone, such as research, representations on public policy, and public mobilization around issues that are related to the charity’s stated charitable purpose. Still prohibited are activities that “directly or indirectly support or oppose a political party or candidate”, including transferring resources to a third party for that purpose. If your charity does any type of work in this area or is considering doing so, it would be worthwhile to read through the above link and consider consulting with legal professionals to ensure your policies and practices are on-side.

Eval Cafe

At the 2017 Canadian Evaluation Society conference, my friend and fellow evaluator Carolyn Camman and I decided to start a podcast on the topic of program evaluation. We were inspired by Kylie Hutchison and James Coyle’s Adventures in Evaluation podcast, which had wrapped up in 2014, and also by the conversations we fell into whenever we met up in person.

Thus, Eval Cafe was born, featuring informal chats on evaluation-related topics – the kind you might overhear at your favourite coffeeshop, if it was frequented by evaluators.

While the two of us eat, live, and breathe evaluation, we do our best to keep the conversation accessible to anyone who has an interest in the field, even if they don’t identify with the term “evaluator”. In our short run thus far (16 episodes and counting!), we have discussed a range of topics, from participatory approaches in evaluation to how Star Trek and evaluation connect.

Our latest episode features Chris Corrigan, where we talk about the intersection between evaluation and facilitation as well as the role of evaluation in community change more generally. I think that if you work at all in the non-profit or social change field, you’ll definitely enjoy this episode!

You can listen to the audio directly in your browser (below), or simply search for “Eval Cafe” in your podcast app/platform of choice and you should be able to find us.

Also, a quick plug for Chris’ upcoming online course, The Art of Evaluation in Complexity, starting February 5th and featuring Carolyn as one of the presenters!