I’ve been reflecting on the past year. What sticks in my mind is how fortunate I am to spend my days working with people who have a cause. Some promote their causes narrowly, for example, by ensuring that education better serves a group of children or that healthcare is available to the poorest families in a region. Others pursue causes more broadly, advocating for human rights and social justice. In the past, both might have been labeled impractical dreamers, utopian malcontents, or, worse, risks to national security. Yet today they are respected professionals, envied even by those who have achieved great success in more traditional, profit-motivated endeavors. That’s truly progress.
I also spend a great deal of time buried in the technical details of evaluation—designing research, developing tests and surveys, collecting data, and performing statistical analysis—so I sometimes lose sight of the spirit that animates the causes I serve. However, it isn’t long before I’m led back to the professionals who, even after almost 20 years, continue to inspire me. I can’t wait to spend another year working with them.
The next year promises to be more inspiring than ever, and I look forward to sharing my work, my thoughts, and the occasional laugh with all of you in the new year.
Best wishes to all.