The theme of the 2019 Sydney Conference is Evaluation un-boxed

Evaluation can be a gift – with the potential to strengthen the lives of individuals and communities. This potential is best realised when evaluation is opened up to end users and when evaluators draw on the knowledge and practices of those they work with. Trans-disciplinary approaches and technological advances provide further possibilities. 

Join us to learn, create connections and shape the ever-evolving role of evaluation and evaluators.

When submitting a proposal for the main conference program, please ensure that your proposed presentation reflects the conference theme, Evaluation un-boxed, and one of the sub-themes. 

When planning your pitch, think about your audience and what will be meaningful for them. Also, consider what session type will best match your purpose. If you choose an interactive format, identify how participation will be of benefit to your audience. 

Once you have refined your idea, write your abstract in an appealing way that provides a ‘pitch’ for why people should come to your session. Proposals must be in English and expressed in clear, accessible and grammatically correct language.

Proposals for conference presentations must be received no later than Thursday 7 March 2019. No further extensions and no exceptions will be granted. It is your responsibility to meet this deadline.

Blind Peer Review: The AES conference uses double-blind review when assessing conference proposals. This means that author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process. Please ensure that the proposal is prepared in a way that does not give away your identity.

Ignite presentations: This year we are continuing 'Ignite presentations'. The submission process is simple – provide a title for your talk and a 100 word 'pitch'. Ignite presentations will be reviewed by a single reviewer for audience relevance.

Presentation format options

The 2019 Conference will accept proposals in the following six formats:

  1. Short Paper
  2. Long Paper
  3. Panel
  4. Skill Building Session
  5. Interactive Session
  6. Ignite session 

Click here for an overview of presentation options, including any abstract requirements.

In choosing a presentation format please consider the most appropriate format for your purpose. Presenters of long and short paper presentations are strongly encouraged to develop a written paper, although this is not a requirement for participation or a factor in program selection. We also encourage nominees of interactive sessions to consider developing short papers, reports, or other outputs synthesising the outcomes of these sessions (which can form part of the conference online proceedings).

It may be necessary to change the format of some proposals to deliver a well-balanced, comprehensive program. If your proposal is accepted, you may be asked if a format change is suitable.

Criteria for assessment

In preparing your proposal’s Justification Statement please ensure you address the following criteria for assessment:

A. Relevance/Importance to AES Audience
The proposal should address topics that are of importance to a broad audience within AES and, if accepted, be likely to attract an audience.
B. Relevance/Importance to overall conference theme and to one or more of the sub-themes
The proposal should align with the conference theme and one of the sub-themes – the link needs to be explicit in the proposal. One or more sub-themes will be identified when submitting and used to stream the presentations.
C. Technical quality
A proposal should meet high standards of technical quality in terms of methodological, conceptual and logical rigor.
D. Contribution to evaluation methods, theories, policies and practices
Proposals presenting the results, findings, and circumstances of a specific evaluation are welcome but should also identify how it contributes to the broader issues of significance for advancement of the evaluation knowledge-base or to skill building.
E. Overall assessment
When looking across the review criteria, and across proposals, reviewers are asked for their overall recommendation on each proposal.

NOTE: No individual may present in more than three conference sessions, including as a co-presenter.

Ignite sessions have a separate review process. Presenters are asked to submit a title for their talk and a 100 word 'pitch'. The proposal will be reviewed against the criteria Relevance to AES audience. 

Note: The written 'pitch' does not require a justification statement.

Proposal content

All proposals (other than ignite sessions) must include the presentation title and the primary author, along with the abstract and a justification statement to justify why the presentation should be included on the program based on the selection criteria. 

Proposal/s will be sent to reviewers for assessment and, if accepted, the presenting author may be asked to edit the abstract before inclusion in the conference program.

Upon acceptance of your proposal, we will request an updated list of your presentation's authors, and a list of those presenting. 

All presenters will be asked to upload a short bio-note and photograph to the online program and for use by the session chair to introduce your presentation.

Abstract (except Ignite proposals)

The Abstract is a summary of the content of your presentation. It should be written in an appealing way that provides a ‘pitch’ for why people should come to your session. You will be presenting at the same time as up to 5 other sessions, so you need to make clear what you are covering and its importance. Write your abstract as you wish it to appear in the conference booklet. 

What to include:

  • the purpose of your presentation
  • an outline of the argument made based on the key concepts or research and evaluation methods or both
  • the main findings and/or conclusions
  • the implications for evaluation theory and/or practice
  • the specific requirements noted in the description of your chosen session format.

You should keep in mind the criteria for assessment A to E in preparing your abstract.

Think about your audience: Your audience is diverse – across nations, disciplines, uses and knowledge of evaluation – ensure your intention will be widely understood. 

We will ask you to specify your target audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced, all) when you upload your proposal.

Word limit: 300 words

Abstract for Ignite presentations

Describe your topic and how it relates to one of the conference sub-themes in 100 words only (entered in the Abstract field). You don’t need to complete a justification statement.

Ignite presentations will be reviewed by a single reviewer for audience relevance.

Tips for writing your abstract

  • Think about your audience. Why will this interest them?
  • Don’t use an acronym unless it is well known internationally – especially ones you have made up. Many in your audience won’t know the acronym. Someone will have to edit it out.
  • Don’t use jargon terms – e.g. a new term you or your colleagues have created.
  • Have a colleague read over your work and make sure the sentences are grammatically correct – e.g. verbs and subjects agree.
  • Abstracts that have errors or are poorly written have a reduced chance of being accepted.

Abstracts will be edited to Australian Style Guide and Macquarie Dictionary. If you have access to those resources, please comply with the conventions. Use the Australian or UK English version of spell check.

Justification statement (except Ignite proposals)

The justification statement immediately follows your abstract in the Abstract entry field. This is your chance to persuade the reviewer that your presentation is worthy of a place on the program. Please address the selection criteria.

The justification statement:

  • presents the important concepts and facts to explain the proposal’s contribution to the conference theme and the body of knowledge in the field of evaluation
  • outlines the relevance of your presentation to evaluation and the importance of what you are proposing 
  • explains your contribution to the conference theme.

Word limit: 300 words

NOTE: Please keep a copy of the abstract and justification statement for your records prior to clicking ‘upload’.

Room set-ups

The standard room set-up for conference presentations is theatre style. Other room set-ups can be accommodated dependent on registration numbers and at the venue’s discretion.

How to submit your proposal

Click here for instructions on how to use and access the online submission system.