WAPA Panel on Evaluation

  • 06 Oct 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom (must register to receive log in information)


Registration is closed

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This talk will be presented online using Zoom. Registration is required before 3:00 pm on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Log in information for Zoom will be emailed to those who have registered by 3:00 pm on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

If you have not received the link, make certain to check your account's inbox categories, tabs, junk, and spam folder.

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/4h8LRh3U54I

Date: Wednesday, 06 October 2021
Location:  Online meeting via Zoom
Time: 7:00 pm

Whether it forms the foundation of our practice or is one of many tools we draw upon in the course of our work, as practicing anthropologists, program evaluation is a prevalent methodological framework that features in the work of many of us. Given its importance in anthropological practice, the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists Program Committee has devoted our October event to a discussion on program evaluation.

Please join WAPA for a panel on the practice of program evaluation. This four-member panel includes perspectives that span anthropological evaluation, international development, and public health. Our contributors will each give a brief presentation on an aspect of evaluation that has impacted their work. We will then open the forum for a Q&A and discussion with the panelists.

Thank you to our organizers and moderators: Martha Hare and Jo Anne Schneider


Mary Odell Butler, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, Presenting Reflections on Evaluation Anthropology

Isaac Morrison, MA, Evaluation Specialist, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Presenting The Overlap between Anthropology Skills and Technology Tools in the Monitoring and Evaluation Sector

Gerald Britan, PhD, Independent Consultant, DevTech Systems, Presenting The Place of Anthropologists in International Development Evaluation

Elena Lumby, DrPH, Senior Research Associate, LTG Associates, Presenting Intersections of Public Health and Anthropology in Evaluation

About the speakers:

Mary Odell Butler, PhDis an applied anthropologist with decades of expertise in program evaluation, evaluation research, and qualitative/mixed methods. She conducted  many program evaluations for CDC during her employment at Battelle and Westat, and has conducted numerous workshops on evaluation, methodology, and careers in anthropological practice. Dr. Butler is a current elected member of the Members Programmatic Advisory and Advocacy Committee  of the American Anthropological Association.  She is an adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maryland offering graduate courses in evaluation anthropology and applied anthropology, and a private consultant.  Dr. Butler authored Evaluation: A Culture Systems Approach (2015) and is co-editor of a volume Scholar-Practitioners Addressing Global Issues, which includes her paper on the effects of global networks on public health systems.   She will share her many insights from her long and varied career.

Isaac Morrison, MA is an applied anthropologist working as a contracted Monitoring and Evaluation specialist for the US Department of State and USAID. Over the past decade he has conducted evaluations of more than a dozen international development and assistance projects around the world including natural resource management projects in Kenya and Guatemala, disaster response programs in Nepal and Bangladesh, economic growth initiatives in Ghana, El Salvador and the Philippines, and US security assistance agreements in Chad and Uganda. He holds an Anthropology MA with an International Development focus from the George Washington University and a Cultural Anthropology BA with a Middle East focus from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has many insights for the master’s prepared applied anthropologist.

Gerald M. Britan, PhD, an independent consultant and evaluation specialist, has focused on development effectiveness, development learning, and development management.  For over 20 years, he served in varied high-level positions the US Agency for International Development (USAID). He continues to work as a management and evaluation consultant for U.S, UN and international agencies and private firms. Before joining USAID, Dr. Britan was professor of anthropology at Northwestern University and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at Southern Illinois University.  Later, he taught graduate courses in development management and evaluation at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Dr. Britan has been honored for his government work and has authored four books, dozens of articles, and scores of professional papers in the fields of anthropology, international development, program evaluation, and public management. He will focus his remarks on opportunities and roles for anthropologists, anthropological insights, and risks and ethical issues for the practicing anthropologist.


Elena Lumby, Dr. PH  is a Senior Research Associate at LTG Associates Inc., a consulting firm with a foundation in anthropology and other social sciences, who uses a variety of methodologies in her work. Her recent quantitative work includes survey development and analysis on the organizational impact of a child abuse prevention initiative in family serving organizations, in addition to analysis of federal and state level health data. Dr. Lumby also serves as adjunct faculty at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, and teaches graduate level courses on practical data analysis, health promotion program planning, community diagnosis, and structural drivers of health disparities. Dr. Lumby was trained to approach evaluation through the lens of a public health researcher. Much is to be gained through its pairing with the anthropology. In her talk, Elena will provide an example of a project where public health researchers and anthropologists worked in synergy to create a more holistic evaluation of a program for family serving organizations. Through this example she aims to provide a practical example of the two professions to bring more nuance into program evaluation.


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