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  call for abstracts

Contributions from a wide range of fields and sectors are invited on areas including: new evaluation methods or the novel application of an emerging and promising method, case studies, lessons, experiences, theoretical and practical developments in evaluation, innovative evaluation models, critiques of evaluation and evaluation approaches, new evaluation concepts, and use of digital technology in evaluation. Abstracts may come from a wide range of presenters from civil society, government, academia, students, and business, both in the UK and overseas. Structured abstracts for papers, symposiums, discussion panels, workshops, pecha kucha sessions, posters, or other formats should be aligned with one of the following themes:

Theme 1:
Grand challenges – solving major national and global challenges

Many issues facing society are large and complex. Most require interdisciplinary solutions. They are often characterised as wicked problems. A range of organisations – the UK and other governments, the UN, large philanthropic foundations – have developed the idea of a 'grand challenge' to provide a focus for effort and funding at scale to address these issues. They include the four grand challenges in the UK Industrial Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals agreed in the UN Agenda 2030. The scale and complexity of these issues demand new approaches in their evaluation. Papers could cover:

  • Grand challenges and evaluation in the UK
  • Innovation in evaluating global challenges
  • Practical approaches to grand challenges
Theme 2:
The diversity of evaluation in the sectors

Evaluation has a number of areas of deep methodology and practice. These include: evaluation of public policy; evaluation in the social sectors, especially health, social care and education; evaluation in the third and voluntary sector; and evaluation in international development. There has been feedback that previous UK Evaluation Conferences have not sufficiently balanced the representation of all these. This theme aims to create opportunities for evaluation in all sectors to be presented to a wider audience. The programme will be designed accordingly:

  • Evaluation in the UK public sector
  • Evaluation in the third sector
  • Evaluation in international development
Theme 3:
Evaluation designs, approaches and methods – a spectrum of innovative practice

This year includes a theme specifically focused on design. Where presenters have discussed innovative methods in depth, these sessions have usually been well received, and conference feedback has shown that participants are seeking cutting-edge information about evaluation methods. This theme offers evaluators developing and using new and unusual designs and methods to cover these in-depth. These may be quantitative, qualitative, hybrid or mixed, or may use the latest data science or means to engage stakeholders and those affected by policies and programmes. This theme could involve some 'advanced level' sessions, if billed as such. It would also be very suitable for a workshop format, and we would encourage that. Papers might include:

  • New methods and new ways of combining them
  • Demystifying  evaluation approaches and methods
  • Experience with diversity in designs and approaches
  • Masterclasses in particular methods
Theme 4:
Evaluation collaborations - learning and working together to enhance practice

Evaluation has always thrived by bringing together approaches and expertise from different sectors and disciplines. The breadth of the field means that evaluators have much to gain from collaboration and the sharing of practices. Learning and progress can be stimulated in a number of configurations:

  • Transferring evaluation learning across sectors
  • Interdisciplinary research and evaluation
  • Collaboration between academia and practice
  • Role of networks and communities of practice
  • Continuing professional development for evaluators
Theme 5:
Evaluation across the UK – a focus on the regions

This theme has two aspects: firstly, location-specific evaluations - taking place in the UK regions and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and secondly, it is the opportunity for the UK Evaluation Society's regional and national networks to showcase their activities:

  • Panel session with UK Evaluation Society networks
  • Evaluations from around the UK

Those wishing to present at the 2019 conference should submit an abstract. This should outline the contribution their paper makes to furthering the field of evaluation in the current context. Structured abstracts should not exceed 300 words and must include information under the following headings:

  • Context
  • Objectives of the session
  • Key lessons / messages
  • How the session would be delivered

We normally receive twice as many abstracts as we are able to include in the programme. The abstracts will be used to select those to include in the programme, so please compile these carefully.

Outside the word count authors may include up to three references including relevant evaluation theories and methods used, policy documents and other relevant studies so that readers can refer to them. Authors are asked to name and provide an email address for the corresponding author.


Conference participants may submit a poster for display at the conference, outlining an evaluation project or case study which falls under one of the key themes detailed above. Posters will be displayed in a dedicated space at the conference venue. If you would like to submit a poster, please provide an abstract with a brief overview of your evaluation (max 150 words).

  Abstract submission

Abstracts can be submitted on-line via this website.

The closing date for receipt of abstracts for poster presentations is 26 April 2019..  The closing date for receipt of abstracts for formal presentation has now passed.

  Submitting a paper

Work presented at the conference can also be submitted as a full paper. For the last several years, we have awarded a prize for best paper. The papers are assessed by the conference team and in order to ensure consistency in the review process the following structure should be followed.

The paper should be between 5-10 pages. If the paper is based on a completed evaluation, it should include context, objectives, methods/evaluation approach, findings and/or learning points, and references where relevant. Importantly, it should give a clear indication of why it should be of interest to a wider readership ie what 'evaluative' point is it making. The paper can be a summary of a longer document or report in which case a reference to the full document should be included. Papers might also be considered which are based on a consideration or discussion of an aspect of evaluation theory or approach. In this case, they must be making an original contribution to evaluation knowledge.

Our aim is to publish the winning paper and we can work with the author(s) to achieve a standard suitable for inclusion in the Evaluation journal.


We are currently organising prizes to award at the conference. In the past, these have been awarded for best written paper, best poster, and best presentation by a young evaluator. Prizes have been given by Sage publishers and Ipsos MORI. We are seeking a sponsor for a prize for the most innovative solution to evaluating a new and challenging policy area.






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