The theme of the 2018 Launceston Conference is Transformations.

Evaluation has never been more exciting, yet challenging. Our context is changing at a dizzying rate. There is an ongoing and urgent need to move towards culturally safe, appropriate and relevant evaluations that contribute to better outcomes for Indigenous peoples. There is an increasing appetite from funders to explore how innovation can solve some of our most complex social and environmental challenges. Governments are embracing these new approaches and demanding real time evidence of what is working. Philanthropy and not-for-profits are transforming too. At the same time new players are doing the work traditionally associated with evaluation, in innovative ways, with access to more data than ever before. In this context, it is critical that evaluation transforms to remain relevant, meet the market and meaningfully contribute to the changing face of Australasia.

We invite you to explore this changing context and what it might mean for you and the areas in which you work with our aes18 conference theme: Transformations. As we explore what these transformations mean for the role of evaluation and evaluators, we hope to equip you with new questions, networks and ways of thinking. Join us in helping shape the future of evaluation in this changing context.

When submitting a proposal for the main conference program, please ensure that your proposed presentation reflects the conference theme, Transformations. Think about the range of audiences who may be interested in your proposal and make sure you write it inclusively. Presentations should be very engaging, interesting and encourage audience participation.

Proposals are to be written in English and must be expressed in clear, accessible and grammatically correct language.

Proposals for conference presentations must be received no later than Thursday 15 March 2018. 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 also offering a new opportunity for you to contribute a short 5-minute 'ignite presentation' – see details.
The submission process is simple – provide a title for your talk and a 100 word 'pitch' – and submit via the conference website. Ignite presentations will be reviewed by a single reviewer for audience relevance.

Presentation format options

The 2018 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 (new for AES)

Click here for an overview of presentation options.

In choosing a presentation format please consider the most appropriate format that allows for interactive input and stimulating discussion of issues. 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 in order to provide a well-balanced, comprehensive program. If your proposal is accepted, you may be asked if a format change is suitable.

At the end of each session approximately five minutes is allowed for participants to move to the next session. This will be scheduled in addition to the time allowed for presentations and questions.

Ignite presentation proposals

Ignite sessions have a separate review process. Presenters are asked to submit a title for their 5-minute talk and a 100 word 'pitch', accompanied – as an optional extra – by a video recording of the talk. For details on the format see here. The proposal will be reviewed against the criteria Relevance to AES audience. Note: The written 'pitch' does not require a justification.

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, is 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 conference theme, Transformations, and this 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.


  • 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'. This can be accompanied – as an optional extra – by a short slideshow or video (20 slides auto-advancing every 15 seconds/maximum 5 minutes). The proposal will be reviewed against the criteria Relevance to AES audience. Note: The written 'pitch' does not require a justification..

Proposal content (except Ignite proposals)

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 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.

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

Please write your abstract as you wish it to appear in the conference booklet. Describe your proposed presentation or workshop in your abstract in no more than 300 words.

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. Your audience is diverse – across nations, disciplines, uses and knowledge of evaluation – ensure your intention will be widely understood. What are you adding to the field of evaluation? Please edit your work and ask for comment from someone not involved before submitting.

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.

Tips for writing your abstract:

  • 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.

Justification statement (except Ignite proposals)

The justification statement immediately follows your abstract in the Abstract entry field. It presents the important concepts and facts to explain the proposals contribution to the conference theme. It outlines the relevance of your presentation to evaluation and the importance of what you are proposing as well as its relationship to the conference theme. This is your chance to persuade the reviewer that your presentation is worthy of a place on the program.

  • Please ensure that your statement responds to the assessment criteria and explains your contribution to the conference theme.
  • The justification statement should be no more than 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.