The following presentation formats apply to conference presentation proposals. Applicants are asked to choose the most suitable format in making their submission.

1. Short Paper

Duration: 25 minutes

Format: A presentation of up to 20 minutes, with time for questions, as negotiated by the presenter and chair.

Content: The short paper session is a formal presentation related to a conference sub-theme. The short paper is suited to covering one innovative or interesting project with learnings for theory or practice, or an idea/ approach of interest to others working in evaluation.

Abstract: In your submission, identify:

  • why your topic is important
  • the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of evaluation.

2. Long Paper

Duration: 50 minutes

Format: A presentation of up to 40 minutes, with time for questions or discussion, as negotiated by the presenter and chair.

Content: The long paper session is a formal presentation focused on:

  • an issue facing the field of evaluation
  • an emerging methodology
  • a critique of an evaluation methodology
  • approaches to working with specific stakeholder groups or in specific contexts.

The long paper mode is suited to an expert lecture. It gives more time for in-depth exploration of the ideas presented.

Tip: If you have multiple experts on the same topic and the value of the presentation would come from conversations between these experts, please submit a panel session instead.

Abstract: In your submission, identify:

  • why your topic is important
  • the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of evaluation
  • how you will use the time (based on experience).

In your justification statement, note your experience in delivering long format presentations.

3. Panel

Duration: 50 minutes

Format: A Panel session will generally involve up to four panellists exploring a topic related to a conference sub-theme. In planning your discussion, allow time for the panel to respond to audience questions. Timing will be negotiated by the panel and chair.

Content: The format is suited to: 

  • weaving together innovative ideas
  • debating a topic
  • exploring concepts or critically reflecting from multiple perspectives
  • evaluators, program managers and service users reflecting on learnings from practice. 

Abstract: In your submission, identify:

  • the role of your moderator
  • your panellists and their backgrounds in relation to the topic
  • the key questions your panel will discuss
  • the structure of the session.

4. Skill Building Session

Duration: 50 minutes

Format: In a skill building session, the presenter delivers a demonstration or mini-workshop. Ideally, the session will enable attendees to practice a skill or use a concept or tool. In some cases, the session may be a demonstration of a concept or tool.

Content: Skill building sessions need a clear learning objective. Skill building sessions can focus on:

  • foundational evaluation skills and capabilities
  • advanced evaluation capabilities 
  • new tools.

See list of suggested topics here

Abstract: In your submission, identify:

  • the learning objective for the session
  • why this skill, tool or concept is important 
  • how you will teach the skill within the allocated time frame.

5. Interactive Session

Duration: 50 minutes 

Format: We invite you to nominate an interactive session format, which could include  

  • world café
  • campfire session 
  • another format that you nominate.

In planning your format, consider what approach will best suit your purpose and make use of participant contributions. 

You might consider speaking for 10-15 minutes before facilitating a discussion. Consider also how you will feed back the findings from the session to participants in the session and/or after the session.

Content: Have a clear objective of what you are hoping to achieve through the interactive nature of the session. This format is suited to facilitators with a question you are trying to answer or an issue you are trying to address that is related to a conference sub-theme and will help develop the evaluation community. 

Abstract: In your submission, identify: 

  • the topic for discussion
  • the purpose of the interactive session 
  • the type of interactive session
  • how the interactive nature of the session will benefit participants 
  • how the session will further the evaluation community
  • how information will be fed back during and/or after the session
  • how the information generated in the session will be distributed to participants after the session.

In your justification statement, note your experience in facilitating sessions of this format.

On acceptance of a proposal for an interactive session, the aes19 committee may wish to collaborate with the facilitators to suggest amendments to increase alignment with other conference content.

Note that this year we will also be hosting an unconference – to enable deep conversation between colleagues. Some topics may be better suited to this day. If you would like to discuss the unconference, please contact Jade Maloney on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Helpful resources:


6.    Ignite Sessions

Ignite presentations are back in 2019!

Format: Ignite presentations run for exactly five minutes using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. The result is a short and informative presentation – which can often also be very entertaining! For examples of the format see

Content: Ignite presentations have a central idea that every slide and every sentence supports. In five minutes, you have time to present about three points that support your idea. 

You could focus on:

  • telling the story of an evaluation 
  • introducing a tool or technique.

Your Ignite slides (like all slides) should be visually appealing. Find images that show your story. 

Abstract: 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.

Helpful resources: Ignite presentation’s take careful consideration to prepare and practice to pull off on the day. These resources might help