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Hello! My name is Amelia Ruerup, I am Tlingit, originally from Hoonah, Alaska although I currently reside in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I have been working part-time in evaluation for over a year at Evaluation Research Associates and have spent approximately five years developing my understanding of Indigenous Evaluation through the mentorship and guidance of Sandy Kerr, Maori from New Zealand.  I consider myself a developing evaluator and continue to develop my understanding of what Indigenous Evaluation means in an Alaska Native context.

I have come to appreciate that Alaska Natives are historic and contemporary social innovators who have always evaluated to determine the best ways of not only living, but thriving in some of the most dynamic and at times, harshest conditions in the world.  We have honed skills and skillfully crafted strict protocols while cultivating rich, guiding values.  The quality of our programs, projects, businesses and organizations is shaped by our traditions, wisdom, knowledge and values.  It is with this lens that Indigenous Evaluation makes sense for an Alaska Native context as a way to establish the value, worth and merit of our work where Alaska Native values and knowledge both frame and guide the evaluation process.

Amidst the great diversity within Alaska Native cultures we share certain collective traditions and values.  As Alaska Native peoples, we share a historical richness in the use of oral narratives.  Integral information, necessary for thriving societies and passing on cultural intelligence, have long been passed on to the next generation through the use of storytelling. It is also one commonality that connects us to the heart of Indigenous Evaluation.  In the Indigenous Evaluation Framework book, the authors explain that, “Telling the program’s story is the primary function of Indigenous evaluation…Evaluation, as story telling, becomes a way of understanding the content of our program as well as the methodology to learn from our story.” To tell a story is an honor.  In modern Alaska Native gatherings, we still practice the tradition of certain people being allowed to speak or tell stories.  This begs the question: Who do you want to tell your story and do they understand the values that are the foundation and framework for your program?  

Hot Tip: Context before methods.  It is essential to understand the Alaska Native values and traditions that are the core of Alaska Native serving programs, institutions and organizations.  Indigenous Evaluation is an excellent approach to telling our stories.

Rad Resource: The Alaskool website hosts a wealth of information on Alaska Native cultures and values.  This link will take you to a map of “Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska”

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Alaska Evaluation Network Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AKEN members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Koolamalsi Njoos (greetings colleagues).  I’m Dr. Nicole Bowman-Farrell, the Founder and President of Bowman Performance Consulting (BPC), a consulting firm located in Wisconsin.  As a traditional Mohican and Lunaape – Munsee (AKA Delaware) Indigenous person, the concept of writing an origin story about BPC is steeped in traditional cultures.  If you know who you are and where you come from then those origin stories help shape how you do business.  BPC started in 2001 as a result of standing my ground professionally, ethically, and morally.

Over five centuries ago, the first Europeans reached Turtle Island.  The Stockbridge Munsee Indians (that is the contemporary name of my Tribal community) lived in the East and in Canada.  We were amongst the first to start an entrepreneurial relationship with the Dutch fur traders in the early 1600’s.  As we were forcibly removed across the country, my community survived. Being resilient problem solvers and smart negotiators transfers well to sustaining a business.

I’m at least the fifth generation of entrepreneurs in the Bowman family.  That’s a picture of my great Grandpa Beaumont Bowman in 1917 who was a contracted logger for many communities in WI.  He’s leading the team, looking sharp, and standing at the top of his game!  Knowing my history is so valuable; it helped sustain my business, where many tough decisions are made.

As a Tribal community, we were always on the move and as a business owner you must never be still.  Adapting to changing resources, political environments, and market needs is key to long term success. There are generations of Bowmans that contributed to our strong family reputation:  hard working, generous and kind, and honest and ethical. These are solid lessons that a business owner needs to live by if they want to be respected, impactful, and sought after as a trusted partner/collaborator.

Hot Tip: Traditional elders tell us that there isn’t “good or bad” there just “is.” In everything that happens, remember to find the lesson in it.  That is good advice for your personal life or your profession.  I enjoy my free subscription to White Bison’s Elder Meditation of the Day (by Don Coyhis, Mohican).

Cool Trick:  Tricksters, in Indigenous storytelling, serve an important purpose to the community.  Sometimes by tricking someone you teach them important lessons.  Check out “Trickster:  Native American Trickster Tales – A Graphic Collection”.

Rad Resource: Indianpreneurship is the fusion of traditional teachings with contemporary sustainable business practices.  It is social entrepreneurship at its best:  evidence based and culturally situated while still making a living and making a true difference in the lives of others.

Lesson Learned:  The toughest times of my business (former employee stole nearly $100,000) taught me the most about myself and my business acumen.  There were a lot of tears and sleepless nights. The relationship of money, emotions, and being a woman played into this life lesson.  My relationship with money, charitable giving, profitability, and sustainability now all co-exist in a balanced and peaceful way with each other.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating IC TIG Week with our colleagues in the Independent Consulting Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello, we are Harry Cummings, President, and Benoît Gauthier, past president of the Canadian Evaluation Society, with a brief article celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary, rich history, and evaluation culture. The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), much like evaluation associations worldwide, is dedicated to the advancement of evaluation theory and practice. We promote leadership, knowledge, advocacy, and professional development.

CES joins all Canadians in celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017! Not ones to miss an opportunity for reflection on lessons, patterns and improvements (nor to pass up a good reason for a celebration) evaluators far and wide are joining in the reflection on our rich history and what makes Canada unique.  Cherishing people and our land, Canada’s Indigenous peoples are valued globally and our bilingual heritage is deeply rooted in French-English with an ever-expanding multicultural fabric, pluralism and diversity.  Champions of the “little guy,” Canadians tend towards the middle ground, finding ways to negotiate and balance, generally seeking principles before interests.  Our strong and free inspired the UN and stand by our Constitutional Charter of Human Rights.

Lesson Learned: Could it be that all Canadians are evaluators at heart? Consider Canada’s accomplishments in:

  • supporting its people (evaluation = “objectives achievement”),
  • in emphasizing values like equity, respect, and truth (evaluation = “reflective practice”),
  • in contributing to a better world order (evaluation = “contribution analysis”) while not being blind to our own failings (evaluation = “impact analysis”) and
  • recognizing that we can always to better (evaluation = “formative”).

Canadians are good at questioning while not over-asserting our identity, yet stand proud and welcoming at a moment’s notice!  Cheers, salut and Happy 150th Birthday Canada!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

 

 

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My name is Leah Goldstein Moses, and I am incredibly lucky to lead the talented team at The Improve Group as our founder and CEO. Seventeen years ago, the Lakers beat the Pacers in the NBA finals, technology stocks took a beating, an extremely close election led to examination of paper ballots in Florida, and The Improve Group started in the living room of my second-floor duplex unit.

In the years since, The Improve Group has grown from an independent consultancy to a network of evaluators to an in-depth practice working all over the world — and we keep evolving. What has stayed constant? An emphasis on evaluation use. An attention to rigor and engagement. And an intentional use of values to guide our work and interactions.

In the last few years, several factors affecting our work have driven us to take a fresh look at our practice and focus on how we collaborate with our clients and communities.

Lesson Learned: Using a community-responsive approach. We have learned a lot from people doing culturally-responsive, indigenous, and empowerment evaluations. Community-responsive approaches are used when there are multiple factors (e.g., income, gender, education, ethnicity, age) that have an impact on how an initiative is perceived, implemented, and performs. In a community-responsive approach, members of the community help to design, implement, and use evaluation.

Rad resources: Dr. Nicole Bowman has been a wonderful mentor to me in understanding how culture, power, and interjurisdictional governance influence work. Her recent AEA365 blog had many fabulous resources. And CREA’s research, training, and resources have been helping evaluators work from a culturally-specific perspective for nearly two decades.

Lesson Learned: We are using evaluation capacity building across a very broad spectrum – from specific professional development for practicing evaluators, to working with program staff who use and contribute to evaluation, to helping community members exercise power in an evaluation. We’ve come to think about capacity building as consisting of tools, practices, and knowledge.

Rad resources: We are impressed by the cohort model being used by the Scattergood Foundation in its Building Evaluation Capacity Initiative.

Hot Tip: To work effectively in diverse communities, the evaluation field needs to represent these communities. We prioritize hiring candidates from populations that are underrepresented in evaluation; in particular, people of color, people with disabilities, and people who are GLBT. We have transformed our evaluation internship program to specifically target these groups.

Rad resource: One of our first steps was to partner with AEA’s Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) to prepare for and recruit intern candidates. They helped us think about what we needed to do to welcome and support interns, and we’ve used those lessons in subsequent years.

The American Evaluation Association is highlighting the work of The Improve Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from staff of The Improve Group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Koolamalsi njoos (Hello Colleagues/Friends).  I’m Nicole Bowman (Mohican/Lunaape) a culturally responsive (CR) and Indigenous Evaluator (CRIE) at the WI Center for Education Research (WEC and LEAD Center) and President/Evaluator at Bowman Performance Consulting, all located in Wisconsin.

In 1905, the President of UW, Charles Van Hise, provided the foundation for what has become fundamental to how I practice evaluation – The Wisconsin Idea:

“The university is an institution devoted to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge…in service and the improvement of the social and economic conditions of the masses…until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family of the state” (p.1 and p.5).

My work as an Indigenous and culturally responsive evaluator exemplifies the WI Idea in action.  Through valuing, supporting, and resourcing culturally responsive and Indigenous theories, methods, and activities, I’m able to not only build organizational and UW’s capacity to “keep pace” (p. 3) in these areas but am empowered to be “in service” to others and not “in the interest of or for the professors” (i.e. self-serving) but rather as a “tool in service to the state…so the university is better fit to serve the state and nation” (p.4 and p.5).  My particular culturally responsive and Indigenous evaluation, policy, and governance expertise has brought university and Tribal governments together through contracted training and technical assistance evaluation work; has developed new partnerships with state, national, and Tribal agencies (public, private, and nonprofit) who are subject matter leaders in CR research and evaluation; and extended our collaborative CR and CRIE through AJE and NDE publications, AEA and CREA pre-conference trainings and in-conference presentations, and representation nationally and internationally via EvalPartners (EvalIndigenous). We’re not only living the WI Idea…we are extending it beyond mental, philosophical, and geographic boarders to include the original Indigenous community members as we work at the community level by and for some of the most underrepresented voices on the planet.
Rad Resources: 

During this week, you will read about how others practice the WI Idea. As evaluators, we play an integral role in working within and throughout local communities and statewide agencies. Daily, we influence policies, programs and practices that can impact the most vulnerable of populations and communities. Practicing the WI Idea bears much responsibility, humility, and humanity.  We need to be constant and vigilant teachers and learners.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating The Wisconsin Idea in Action Week coordinated by the LEAD Center. The LEAD (Learning through Evaluation, Adaptation, and Dissemination) Center is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) at the School of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison and advances the quality of teaching and learning by evaluating the effectiveness and impact of educational innovations, policies, and practices within higher education. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from student and adult evaluators living in and practicing evaluation from the state of WIDo you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Hello All! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with a great offer on a (literally!) huge new resource!

Lesson Learned: The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research was a favorite grad school text. This blog article’s titular phrase “quiet revolution” comes from Norman Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln’s preface to my 2nd edition (c. 2000) of the highly esteemed tome. The authors/editors shared then that they observed “over the past two decades, a quiet methodological revolution had been occurring in the social sciences; a blurring of disciplinary boundaries was taking place.”

Now, in SAGE’s 5th edition published this year, Denzin and Lincoln open Chapter 1 with a series of questions:

  • What do we mean by research, inquiry, critical, social justice, transformative, dialogic, reflexive, participatory, emancipatory, narrative, resistance love, loss, praxis, rigor, and writing as a way of being in the world?
  • How do we move forward?
  • What is the place of a new edition of the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research in this project?
  • What is the role of critical qualitative research in a historical present when the need for social justice has never been greater?

Clearly, a great deal has changed in the 17 years since my 2nd edition was published, and since the beginning of the revolution.

Hot Tip: According to SAGE, this new edition has been substantially updated with 19 new chapters, making it a virtually new volume. For those familiar with earlier editions or big players in qualitative research, you’ll still find very familiar names: Guba, Ladson-Billings, Schwandt, Saldaña, Charmaz, and Fine, among others.

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • New contributors offer 19 completely new chapter topics, including indigenous methodologies, methodologies in an age of new technologies, queer/quare theory, ethnodrama, data and its problematics, triangulation, collaborative inquiry, digital ethnography, the global audit culture, and much more.
  • Substantial revisions from returning authors provide reinvigorated content resulting in very different chapters.
  • Content on a wide range of key topics, diverse perspectives, and current controversies derived from members of an international and interdisciplinary editorial board ensure the timeliest revision.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Six classic chapters cover topics from paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences, to performance ethnography, writing as a method of inquiry, strategies for composition, and creating narratives and research reports.
  • Contributions from well-known international scholars allow readers to study the differences in approach among European, Australian, and American practitioners and theoreticians, as well as to hear the voices of non-Western authors.
  • Coverage of state-of-the-art topics include critical social science, critical pedagogy, mixed methods, narrative inquiry, qualitative research and technology, online ethnography, oral history, human rights, disability communities, queer theory, and performance ethnography.
  • Discussions on a wide range of methods expand the reader’s repertoire of methodologies, enlarging the range of data that can be brought to bear on social and educational issues.

Hotter Tip!!! SAGE is offering a 30% discount on the purchase price (of the hardcover version only) when entering the code DENZIN30 at sagepub.com. Of course, if you’re traveling light (the book is still around 1000 pages!), you can also purchase electronic versions.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hi! We are Morgan J Curtis (independent consultant) and Strong Oak Lafebvre (executive director of Visioning BEAR Circle Intertribal Coalition).  Along with Patrick Lemmon (independent consultant), we have the good fortune of serving as the evaluation team for the Walking in Balance (WIB) initiative.

WIB is an innovative approach to violence prevention that focuses on 12 important indigenous values that encourage better harmony with other people and the land. The primary component of WIB is a 13-session curriculum that is built on a Circle Process and that, with some adaptations, can be focused on different populations. The Circle Process involves storytelling and sharing by all participants, including the Circle Keeper who serves to move the conversation forward. A teaching team of four, seated in the four directions, diminishes the role of a single expert and promotes Circle members talking with each other rather than to the Circle Keeper.

Lessons Learned: This program presents many exciting evaluation opportunities and challenges. One of the challenges is ensuring that the evaluation is both culturally responsive and methodologically sound. As part of this challenge, all members of the evaluation team are located in different cities and the evaluation consultants have all been white folks. This process has included much trial and error in our collaborative process and in the evaluation methodologies themselves. The team wanted to design an evaluation that aligned with the program’s principles and also integrated into the circle process as seamlessly as possible. We currently have a pre and post question for each session; participants write their answers on notecards and share aloud with the circle, which flows well with the storytelling focus of the circles.  Additional questions at the beginning and end of the Circle invite participants to share aloud how each session transformed them and ways continued engagement in the Circle impacts their lives. We capture responses from all parties to track how the Circle Process transforms both the teaching team and participants.  The VBCIC teaching team loves the seamless nature of the evaluation process and finds that checking in about what happens between sessions captures changes in behavior based on learning directly linked to Circle teachings.

Hot Tip: Listening plays a key role in both the Circle Process itself and in developing the evaluation. We have established a process of following the lead of the Visioning BEAR team both by listening intently to their struggles and hopes and also by offering options for how to tweak the evaluation. They move forward with what feels right to them and report back to us. Then, we keep tweaking. We are working to make the data analysis and interpretation processes more collaborative as we move forward, too.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

My name is Art Hernandez and I am a Visiting Professor at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

I participated in the second yearlong experience of the AEA Minority Serving Institutions Fellowship program and have served as the Director for several cohorts most recently this past year.  I teach and practice Evaluation and am very interested in the operationalization of and the development of metrics related to cultural responsiveness in practice.   I am a member of the Indigenous, Multicultural and La Red TIGS (Topical Information Groups).

Lesson Learned:

Evaluation theory and practice (including issues and ideas related to Cultural Responsiveness) is constantly evolving and developing.  A unique academic and professional discipline, Evaluation is informed by advances in and elaborations of the “state of the science and art” of inquiry constructed from a variety of scientific and social scientific disciplines. The result is that its “expert” practitioners and theorists must be familiar with and consider diverse literature from an ever widening range of disciplines and be prepared to challenge and revise their thinking and practice.  This year’s cohort recognized the need for multi- and interdisciplinary thinking in Evaluation realizing the benefits and sharing their discoveries.

Hot Tip:  

“Expert” Evaluators recognize and endeavor to learn as much as possible related to the great variety of modes of inquiry recognizing the connection of this to the multiple ways of knowing and its importance as one way to assure cultural responsiveness.

Rad Resources:

Aidan Kenny (2006).  Evaluation: Emergence, Mode of Inquiry, Theory & Practice.  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=946402 (Retrieved 12-14-16)

Bijal A Balasubramanian; Deborah J Cohen; Melinda M Davis; Rose Gunn; L Miriam Dickinson; William L Miller; Benjamin F Crabtree and Kurt C Stange (2015).  Implementation Science 10:31.  DOI: 10.1186/s13012-015-0219-z

http://implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13012-015-0219-z (Retrieved 12-14-16)

The American Evaluation Association is AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Experience week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s MSI Fellows. For more information on the MSI fellowship, see this webpage: http://www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=230 Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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My name is Jennifer Dewey, and I am a Senior Director with Walter R. McDonald and Associates, Inc. (WRMA). Over the years, I have worked for organizations that receive a substantial amount of business in health and human services from Federal, state, and local-level entities. A key method to obtaining this work is partnering with subcontractors and consultants to respond to requests for proposals, or RFPs.

“Prime” responders (those who will take 51% or more of the work) look to subcontractors (an organization) and independent consultants (an individual) to enhance their bids. Subcontractors and consultants do this by providing content or technical knowledge that the prime doesn’t have enough of, or doesn’t have at all. For example, a history of working with certain populations (e.g. military and veterans, indigenous peoples) or specialized statistical expertise (e.g., social network analysis). Subcontractors and consultants may enhance a bid by being based in one or more locations where the project will take place, bringing their knowledge of the local government, population(s), and community structure to the work.

Many of these partnerships are generated through networking, where a prime representative knows an independent consultant or staff member at a potential subcontractor that can bring the needed knowledge and skills to an RFP response.

Rad Resource: Familiarize yourself with available Federal contract vehicles, such as AHRQ (www.ahrq.gov), CDC (www.cdc.gov), GSA MOBIS (www.gsa.gov), HHS PSC (www.ngsservices.com/program_support_center.html) HRSA (www.hrsa.gov), SAMHSA (www.samhsa.gov), and others to learn about past and future contracts. Consulting organizations often list their contract vehicles on their website.

Hot Tip: Make yourself and/or your organization easy to find through LinkedIn profiles with direct contact information, and websites with detailed descriptions of services, projects, and staff member qualifications.

Once you establish a partnership, prove your worth by delivering high-quality, timely work as part of the RFP process. Brainstorming and generating ideas about the scope of work, while challenging in itself, is easy compared to the business of putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

Hot Tip: Leverage your unique subject matter expertise and technical knowledge by being a thinking partner with the prime, helping them understand and work through the challenges implicit in the project. As requested, follow up with well-written tasks that address the RFP’s evaluation criteria within the allotted page count.

Hot Tip: Cement your value by providing professional bios, resumes, project examples, and organizational capacity statements per the prime’s timeline and in the requested format.

Primes view subcontractor and independent consultant contributions to the RFP process as a litmus test for contract performance. Whether the bid is won or lost, high performance will increase your opportunities for future work.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Independent Consulting TIG Week with our colleagues in the IC AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IC TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

Greetings, I am Melvin Hall, a current AEA Board Member and program evaluation specialist for over forty years. I have had many excellent mentors throughout my career including Tom Hastings, Bob Stake, Terry Denny, and Ernie House.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

In this series to honor living evaluators I wish to honor Karen Kirkhart, as both a leading scholar and a person who has demonstrated a commitment to social justice, making the field more engaged with and respectful of human cultural and values diversity.

Pioneering and enduring contributions:

As a scholar, Karen is a tenaciously brilliant thinker who has permanently altered the evaluation literature with her introduction of multicultural validity as a central concern for quality practice. Under the banner of evaluation influence, she additionally has effectively woven together the practical understanding of how evaluation functions as a tool of society; and in that regard, argued effectively for turning the spotlight on power and privilege that generates and maintains inequity across social institutions and interactions.

An early failure of evaluation as a profession was its unease with matters of context. While known to be central to the functioning of programs and services evaluated, the field was not equipped to think well about how to handle context in practice. Karen’s work has centered cultural context in discussion of quality practice. Working through these issues with indigenous communities and others less well served by evaluation, Karen’s legacy affirms the ethical imperative to be responsive to all stakeholders to an evaluation…not just the privileged and powerful.

As a former AEA President and thought leader in the field, Karen has provided pivotal guidance and influence to important AEA initiatives. This includes the cultural reading of the Program Evaluation standards that informed the most recent revision; development of the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence; and co-developing significant published scholarship with evaluators of color bringing new and important voices into focus for the profession.

Whenever there is acknowledgement of the present and improved state of the profession, it is easy for me to see woven into the past several years of progress, the steady hand of influence provided by Karen Kirkhart. I am one whose career trajectory was elevated by her friendship and mentoring, and thus feel honored to prompt this recognition by others.

Resources:

Kirkhart, Karen E. “Seeking Multicultural Validity: A Postcard from the Road.Evaluation Practice, Vol.16, No.1, 1995, pp. 1-12.

Hood, S., Hopson, R., and Kirkhart, K. (2015). Culturally Responsive Evaluation: Theory, practice, and future implications. In Newcomer, K. and Hatry, H (Eds.). Handbook on Practical Program Evaluation (4th ed.) (pp. 281-317). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Labor Day Week in Evaluation: Honoring Evaluation’s Living Pioneers. The contributions this week are tributes to our living evaluation pioneers who have made important contributions to our field and even positive impacts on our careers as evaluators. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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