5 Questions with Paul Kerber- Evaluation Assistant

 

Paul joined the PAN staff team as a part-time Evaluation Assistant. Paul is not a stranger to PAN as he has been working as a Peer Evaluator supporting the impact evaluation of the PLDI program. Paul is very active in the community, a past PLDI grad, and a volunteer at Positive Living BC. He will be working with our evaluation team to support various evaluation projects at PAN including building evaluation tools for our capacity-building program and BC’s PLDI program. Paul can be reached at [email protected]caidsnetwork.org.

What first piqued your interest in HIV research and evaluation?

I am always looking for ways to engage with community. Volunteer work and experiences with community-based organizations continue to fuel this interest. The impacts that these organizations make in the lives of their clients is truly incredible. That’s what keeps driving me. While we often think that everything is great it’s important to always look deeper and ensure that things are still relevant. Evaluation helps us in our program delivery and its evolution.

What role do you think HIV research and evaluation plays in the real world?

Numbers/stats and geeky things like that have piqued my interest for as long as I can remember. I am always looking for meaningful ways to engage with community. Research is key to making sure that we are making positive impacts in the right places at the proper time. The resources that we have are often scare so knowing your programs and projects are needed and impactful is so important. Research gives us credibility with decision makers, stakeholders and the people and organizations we ourselves are involve with.

How do you engage the community in your work?

I’m really lucky I get to work with an incredibly talented team at PAN. Through my work as an Evaluation Assistant I’m able to be a support in the creation of tools, methods and best practices. These are often used to establish and evaluate the programs that affect community.

I have recently been involved in the evaluation of the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) training Program. This is program that supports people who are living with HIV/AIDS to realize their leadership potential and increase their capacity to participate meaningfully in community. People living with HIV, CBOs and stakeholders were involved in the evaluation. PAN’s commitment to the MIPA/GIPA principals has ensured that the impacted community plays key roles in this work.

 

If you had unlimited funds which areas of research and evaluations would you invest in?

Wow, there are so many worthy and important projects to be involved. To choose a few.
social justice, discrimination and stigma, HIV and aging and the social and economic impacts this will have on community. This would all be complemented with a group of dedicated shelf cleaners to ensure that all this good work isn’t filed and forgotten. Oh and of course an incredible team of lobbyist to move the work forward.

 

If you were able to choose, what is the natural talent you’d like to be gifted.

My mom was very artistic. I would often watch her paint and was amazed at how she could create such emotion with a stretch of canvas, some oil paint and a brush.
While I’m pretty good with stick figures I would enjoy being able to sketch and paint with an intuitive ease. I find Art such a powerful medium. I recall an article about” The making of an Expert” (Ericsson, Prietula and Cokely) it claims experts are made, put in 10,000 hours and you’re on your way to being one. Maybe there’s still time. I’ll have to check my calendar!