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

Jul/12

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CC Week: Osman Özturgut and Tamera Bertrand Jones on Integrating Cultural Competence into Your AEA Presentation

Hello! We’re Osman Ozturgut, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of the Incarnate World and Tamera Bertrand Jones, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Florida State University. In the previous posting, we learned about the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation (the Statement) and the reason for its development. In this post, we discuss ways to integrate cultural competence into your conference presentations.  The 2012 AEA conference theme, Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, and Relevance, offers a framework to consider the role of culture in evaluation.  Even if your presentation does not directly address culture, there are ways to remain a part of this conversation.  We asked national and international evaluation leaders to provide tips on ways to incorporate the tenets of culturally competent evaluation in your AEA conference presentation to make the list for today.

Hot Tips:

Relationships- Culturally competent evaluators refrain from assuming they fully understand the perspectives of stakeholders whose backgrounds differ from their own. Cultural competence requires awareness of self, reflection on one’s own cultural position, awareness of others’ positions, and the ability to interact genuinely and respectfully with others. Relationships are a foundation from which we build our work. Developing relationships with stakeholders that attend to diverse perspectives ensures different viewpoints are represented. In your presentation, tell the audience how you developed relationships with a variety of stakeholders and included those viewpoints in your evaluation.

ResponsibilitiesEvaluations are not culture free.  Effective and ethical use of evaluation requires respecting different worldviews.Insufficient attention to culture in evaluation may compromise group and individual self-determination, due process, and fair, just, and equitable treatment of all persons and interests. In your presentation, discuss how you did or could have better accounted for culture in your evaluation when you present lessons learned.  How did/will you address power dynamics in evaluations?  What would you do differently, after you’ve read the Statement?

RelevanceThe culturally competent evaluator draws upon a wide range of evaluation theories and methods to design and carry out an evaluation that is optimally matched to the context. Valid inferences require shared understanding within and across cultural contexts.  In your presentation, discuss the context in which your work was located. Describe how evaluation questions were conceptualized and how data were collected and analyzed.  A description of the context and methods provides the audience with a greater understanding of the environment in which your work took place and allows for greater examination of validity.

RAD Resources:

The American Evaluation Association will be celebrating Cultural Competence Week. The contributions all this week come from the Cultural Competence committee. 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 evaluator.

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