In this feature article, EDC Principal Research Scientist Leslie Goodyear, the newly-elected President of the American Evaluation Association, shares her insights on the critical role that evaluation plays in building capacity to ensure that programs meet the needs of the people they serve: "Evaluation is about learning, reflecting, and making things better. I think some people see evaluation as a very stern, judgmental, impersonal process, but I don’t see it like that. The programs that I evaluate have a lot of knowledge about what works within the context of their field and in their communities. As an evaluator, my job is more than measuring outcomes. It’s also helping those programs apply that practical knowledge in the service of programmatic improvement. There are lots of ways to do this, and I work in collaboration with program staff to develop the most appropriate evaluation plan."