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The emergence of evaluation as a global enterprise: Keynote at the 2015 Conference of the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association

John Gargani

I bet this has happened to you. You are at a dinner party, neighborhood get together, or some other social event, and someone asks you the most dangerous question, “So, what do you do for a living?” If you answer honestly, “I’m an evaluator,” you will spend at least 30 minutes explaining what that means and how it is different from what your new acquaintance thinks it does (not social auditor, not compliance officer, not academic researcher, not program officer, not management consultant, not accountant, and not a made-up career). In that time, your food will have gotten cold, the ice cubes in your drink will have melted, or the rugby match will have ended. The problem is not you, nor is it your social circle. The problem is that evaluation has no brand.

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