AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



FIE TIG Week: Tristi Nichols on A Feminist-Ecological Model for Evaluation

Bismillah! My name is Tristi Nichols, and with an advanced degree from Cornell University, I have been continuously involved in a wide-ranging evaluation practice over the past fifteen years.

In my area of work – the international development arena – I find that I am frequently asked to evaluate the extent to which gender inequity has been increased or decreased by in a given context (e.g., agriculture, education, or post conflict). I searched high and low for a framework with insightful questions to guide my evaluation practice. Over the years, I only found gaps and tid-bits of information here and there, Frustrated, I decided to development my own framework that includes guiding questions to measure the degree to which an intervention furthers female empowerment and/or minimizes gender inequity within an international context. In a recently released book, “Feminist Evaluation and Research: Theory and Practice”, this rubric of questions is included in my chapter entitled: Measuring Gender Inequality in Angola: A Feminist-Ecological Model for Evaluation.

Since you may not go out right away to purchase / download the book, this contribution includes a few “Rad Resources” to get you started thinking.

Rad Resources: Measurement draws from a feminist-ecological lens assessing program effects on women, using Urie Bronfenbrenner’s three systems of environmental influences: (a) Micro-; (b) Meso-/Exo-; and (c) Macro-systems. My labels are slightly different where (i) Micro-level systems have been renamed “individual-level”; (ii) Meso-/Exo- are referred to as “composite community-level”; and (iii) Macro-level systems are assigned the term of the “collective-level.”

At the collective level, the focus of the evaluative effort is at the social or political environment level;

The composite community-level concentrates on critical factors for program effectiveness and/or reasons for implementation failure and how these affect women’s / girl’s participation.

The individual-level looks at the complex relations between the woman [or adolescent girl] and her environment (e.g., home, family, school, marketplace, and workplace).

Daily, there are new and interesting blogs and websites that can be easily categorized into these three measurement areas: Here are just a few which are on my desktop at the moment…

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Feminist Issues in Evaluation (FIE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the FIE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our FIE 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 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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  • AEA 365 | Manitou Inc. · January 5, 2016 at 4:11 am

    […] Dr. Tristi Nichols was featured in the AEA 365 blog with 6 other leading experts.  It was posted on May 18th. You can take a look at: Read More […]


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