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  • CESBC Webinar: Bridging ‘Did it work?’ and ‘Will it work? Using futures studies to reorient evaluation utilization

CESBC Webinar: Bridging ‘Did it work?’ and ‘Will it work? Using futures studies to reorient evaluation utilization

  • 09 Sep 2022
  • 12:00 - 13:00
  • Online Webinar (PDT)

CESBC Webinar :

Bridging ‘Did it work?’ and ‘Will it work? Using futures studies to reorient evaluation utilization presented by Sarah Mason  

WHEN:  Friday, September 9 2022 from 12 pm to 1 pm Pacific Time

WHERE: CESBC webinars take place online using Zoom platform. You can check your computer's requirements here

COST: Free (long distance charges may apply if you dial in rather than use Zoom app)

LANGUAGE: English

REGISTRATION: Register on Zoom 

Webinar Objective:

  1. Introduce attendees to the field of futures studies
  2. Explore the relevance of futures studies to evaluation
  3. Describe three specific futures studies methods that can be applied in evaluation practice.

Webinar Description:  

A persistent challenge for our profession is that evaluators typically look to the past to inform future actions. Many of our evaluations focus on backwards-looking questions such as ‘did it work?’ However, our clients and stakeholders seek answers to entirely different questions: what will work in the future? What should I do now? Standard evaluation practice tasks evaluation users with translating past findings into future performance thinking, thus undermining the potential for utilization.

This webinar will describe the field of futures studies—along with a series of methods that derive from futures studies—that evaluators can use to support futures-oriented thinking. In doing so, Sarah will aim to reorient thinking about utilization away from simply using information about ‘what worked’—focusing instead on strategies for leveraging past findings to inform futures thinking.

Who would benefit from the webinar:

  • All-level evaluators and individuals with responsibility for strategic planning

Relevant Resources:  

Biography of presenter:

Sarah Mason is the Director of the Center for Research Evaluation at the University of Mississippi. She is an evaluator whose primary goal is to advance the practice of evaluation through: (1) innovative evaluation practice, (2) high quality training for evaluators, (3) public advocacy in support of evaluation, and (4) the development of practical tools that allow individuals to embed evaluation into everyday decisions.

Over the past 15 years Sarah has conducted research and evaluation projects across a wide range of contexts, including in Australia, the United States, Afghanistan, East Timor, Myanmar and Cambodia. She currently leads more than 30 evaluation projects across the United States and loves to experiment with new evaluation methods.

Sarah has a Ph.D. in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University, Masters Degrees in Psychology and Development Studies and a Graduate Certificate of Education (Early Years).

She also loves yoga and recently completed her RYT 200 yoga teacher training.


If you have any questions, please contact Damien Chen / Reilly Baldwin, CESBC Lower Mainland Coordinators at cesbc.lowermain@gmail.com.

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