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

TAG | culturally responsive evaluation

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.

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.

We are the 2016 AEA Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Fellows: Cirecie West-Olatunji (counselor education-Xavier University of Louisiana), Jeiru Bai (social work-University of Nebraska at Omaha), Kate Cartwright (health administration-University of New Mexico), Smita Shukla Mehta (special education-University of North Texas), and Chandra Story (public health-Oklahoma State University).

It seems that it was only a few weeks ago that we shared our biographical and personal goal statements and listened to our evaluation mentor, Art Hernandez, share a (long!) list of reading resources. Hailing from diverse academic disciplines, we wondered how we would integrate seemingly disparate ideas and philosophies to jointly construct a presentation for the annual conference. After 12 months of biweekly telephone conference calls, the week-long AEA Summer Institute, a joint AEA conference presentation, and life changes (e.g., Smita was promoted to Full Professor rank and Jieru had a beautiful 7 lb, 8 oz. baby boy), we now share key lessons learned from our multidisciplinary thinking.

msi

Lessons Learned:

#1: Set Aside Time to Read

We are often too busy to set aside time for reading, reflection, and dialogue with others. Being involved in this fellowship, I found it critical to schedule time to acquire knowledge that I could integrate into my existing skill set.

#2: Evaluation can be Creative

Prior to this fellowship, I thought that data collection methods for culturally responsive evaluation were limited. My learning experiences through the AEA conference and the summer institute have changed my paradigm! There are many creative approaches to evaluation, including ripple effects mapping.  These approaches provide proper context for evaluation while honoring communities.

#3: Transcend Disciplinary Boundaries

As a relatively new evaluator, I learned to always remember that evaluation theory and practice transcend disciplinary boundaries. When planning an evaluation, I now look beyond practices in any one discipline. A good starting place is the AEA website!

#4: Distinguish Research Methods from Program Evaluation

While I acknowledged a difference between research methods and program evaluation, the distinction became clearer after the summer institute and AEA conference. Evaluation design requires a lot more technical skills in mixed methods data collection and analyses. Conducting an evaluation also requires social skills (e.g., trust, compassion, connection, communication, facilitation) to connect with stakeholders.

We are grateful to the AEA community for creating the MSI Fellowship program. Thanks to you, we can continue crystallizing our evaluation identity and competence.

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.

We are alumna of the AEA’s Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program’s 13th cohort. Today’s hot tips are reflections on the importance of increasing an organization’s capacity to conduct equitable evaluations across all the stages of an evaluation. Here, we will share three tips that we learned while working at our GEDI sites.

Hot Tip #1 (Leah, Doctoral Student at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign): Develop and utilize critical consciousness to fill the gaps. At my GEDI site, diversity, inclusion and engagement are prioritized in the organization. In developing a measure to capture progress toward this goal, we realized that peer-reviewed research supporting equitable and culturally responsive measures are limited. Most research focuses on staff diversity and work culture but does not account for the various ways spaces can be meaningfully diverse or how people can be included and engaged. One way to address the gap is by increasing critical consciousness, explained by Paulo Freire as “the ability to perceive social, political, and economic oppression and to take action against the oppressive elements of society.” We can then critically analyze the cultural validity of our instruments.

Hot Tip #2 (Monique, Doctoral Candidate at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee): Make sure reflection is the center of culturally responsive evaluation. During my GEDI experience, I worked with organizations addressing population health outcomes in historically marginalized communities. Following trainings debriefing with program leadership, we concluded that program staff and leadership needed a better understanding of how important reflection is to the culturally responsive evaluation framework. With my site supervisor we conducted a presentation called Tools You Can Use: Program Evaluation for a state foundation’s annual grantee forum. I revised the framework presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Dr. Rodney Hopson on AEA365 to develop The Reflective Flower. This graphic, shown below, centers reflection on the part of the evaluator and key stakeholders. Print this graphic as a reminder to your team and stakeholders of HOW TO BLOOM USING CULTURALLY RESPONSIVE EVALUATION.

reflection-flower

Hot Tip #3 (Ibukun, Doctoral Student at Cornell University): Leaders should explicitly commit to culturally responsive evaluation. At my GEDI site, health equity is the organization’s main mission. To assess the organization’s impact on health equity in the community, it is crucial that leaders stay reflective and knowledgeable on health-specific culturally responsive evaluation. The foundation can influence health equity through setting grant project requirements. It is not enough for organizations’ stances and staff members to be committed to CRE; the leaders must also be supportive of these efforts. Ultimately, foundations’ leaders have the unique ability to tackle these issues through their grant-making, as they hold positions of power and have the potential to influence systemic change.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s GEDI Program and its interns. For more information on GEDI, see their webpage here: http://www.eval.org/GEDI 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, my name is Kenneth Pass. I am a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Northwestern University and a recent Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program alumnus. During my GEDI internship at Growth Capital Network in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I engaged in various health, evaluation, and philanthropic projects with state and local community organizations. Throughout this internship I have learned important lessons on community-centered frameworks, diverse health programs throughout the state, proposal and grant evaluation, and metric and other measurement development.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Know who is speaking and who is contributing to that voice. When working with state and local community organizations that are submitting grant proposals to philanthropic and other funding organizations, it is important to know about the applicant and the community they serve, and what major partners and stakeholders are involved. This information ensures that you are able to understand the organization and what role it plays and if it is community centered in that role.
  1. Take stock of evaluation capacity and investment. Often I observed that applicants either did not have the capacity to develop and implement an evaluation or prioritize program evaluation. This was an important moment for me – and the applicants. Their lack of evaluation capacities or investment limited how they approached and understood the benefits of program evaluation. Being able to assess an applicant’s capacity and investment in evaluation and provide feedback on the meaning, significance, and benefits of evaluation is essential to helping improve community health, as well as working relationships with philanthropic and other funding organizations.
  1. Encourage potential grantees to think about disparities within communities. While evaluating applicant proposals, I considered Lessons 1 and 2. I thought more critically about how minority groups would benefit from proposed health programs and initiatives and how communities were being engaged throughout the development, implementation, and evaluation of these health programs. Applicants’ programs often involved marginalized or underserved sections of their communities so understanding how proposals addressed gender and racial/ethnic health disparities was key. Given the health burdens that women and people of color carry throughout Michigan and the United States, encouraging state and local community organizations to pay attention to the health disparities present in their communities is crucial to increasing the benefit and scope of any health program.

Through the GEDI internship, I learned more not only about health, evaluation, and philanthropy but also about the importance of discovering, valuing, and centering community voices in program evaluation.

Rad Resources:

  1. Template for Analyzing Philanthropic Programs Through a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens
  2. Advancing Evaluation Practices in Philanthropy by Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s GEDI Program and its interns. For more information on GEDI, see their webpage here: http://www.eval.org/GEDI 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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Greetings from Los Angeles! We are Drs. Ashaki M. Jackson and Stewart Donaldson – the AEA Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program leadership team. This week, we share with you reflections from our most recent alumni, fondly called District 13 in honor of our 13th cohort.

During last year’s annual conference, GEDI scholars were charged with learning how attendees defined culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) and how it emerged in practitioners’ work, if at all. When asked to what extent CRE was important to practitioners’ work, a respondent answered, “don’t care.” It ignited scholars to reflect on where culture exists and the possibility that evaluation can be conducted without attention to culture. Their reflections yielded a new understanding of culture’s omnipresence in our selves (beliefs, values, religious practices, race and ethnicity), work (colleagues, stakeholders, funders and politics that shape our grant opportunities), environments (where we live, where we work) and even our funders’ missions. Culture is inextricable, and that matters.

The GEDI program sharpens scholars’ attention to culture and its impact on evaluation quality, validity and meaningfulness. It is a pipeline to the evaluation field. We train masters and doctoral students of color who reflect many of the new communities in which evaluations occur. The program introduces evaluative thinking in scholars from variety of disciplines and is centered on the principles of culturally responsive evaluation. Scholars participate in a yearlong internship while receiving mentoring from leadership, AEA theorists and practitioners, and internship site supervisors. Scholars also complete professional development courses, including those offered through Claremont Evaluation Center’s (CEC) annual workshops and the association’s annual conference; complete monthly webinars with established theorists and practitioners; and fulfill written group and individual deliverables to practice conveying findings to different audiences.

Hot Tip: Evaluative thinking and evaluation skills are widely practical. We invite graduate students across all fields who are interested in exploring and practicing cultural competence in evaluation, are from historically under-represented communities, and are at an institution where evaluation coursework is limited or absent to apply. AEA distributes a call each spring. Please share this opportunity widely.

Hot Tip: The program is fueled by partnerships with organizations that can provide evaluation opportunities for our scholars. Site supervisors provide our scholars practical professional experience and space in which to apply their program learning. We enthusiastically welcome applications from organizations. Previous host sites have missions centered on education, health, policy, environment, micro-loans, volunteerism and social services. If you are interested in working with the program and helping shape the next generation of evaluators, please contact us at gedi@eval.org, or watch for the Call for Applications that we distribute in early spring (prior to our call for scholar applications).

Rad Resources
CEC Professional Development Workshop Series

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s GEDI Program and its interns. For more information on GEDI, see their webpage here: http://www.eval.org/GEDI 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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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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This is part of a two-week series honoring our living evaluation pioneers in conjunction with Labor Day in the USA (September 5).

¡Saludos! Greetings! I am Lisa Aponte-Soto, National Program Deputy Director of RWJF New Connections and Director at Equal Measure, AEA GEDI alumna, and LA RED TIG Chair.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

LA RED TIG honors Arthur (Art) E. Hernandez, PhD for his leadership in culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) practices and commitment to diversifying the field.

Art Hernandez was Professor and Dean at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, and Director of the AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) initiative. He has recently transitioned to the University of the Incarnate Word. Art has rooted his career in his native Texas, yet his contributions span across the nation.

His first evaluation experience was with a project for the Texas school district. The program staff viewed him as a researcher and saw no distinction between research and evaluation. Art began expanding his scope of work to different settings. Before long, he became a respected evaluator valued for his bilingual and bicultural lens. However, it wasn’t until he participated in the 2009 MSI cohort that he realized that he was conducting formal evaluation.

Art attributes MSI and similar traineeships for building his evaluation methodology skills. Equally, he accredits his lived experience and his perspective as a Latino as being critical to the quality of evaluation. His ethnic background and CRE training have also influenced his attention to cultural context in the work.

Art refers to culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) as an essential technical and quality-driven inherent value for all evaluation practice. And, he applauds AEA for being at the forefront of integrating cultural awareness and responsiveness in the field.

He also acknowledges the importance of AEA’s community of learning fostered through Annual Meetings and Summer Institutes, where he has been able to engage and learn with seasoned evaluators. In turn, Art values giving back to AEA.

A lifetime educator, Art is passionate about mentoring the next generation of culturally responsive evaluators. When invited to lead the MSI Program in 2011, he didn’t hesitate and continues in this role

As an active AEA member, Art is a founding member of LA RED, has served various TIGs, and most notably has contributed to the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. Currently, he is working on an evaluation capacity building recipe book for community based organizations.

Rad Resources: Listen to his recent Coffee Break session, The Rise of Latinx presence, perceptions and contributions to notions of CRE and AEA.

Meet Art and other Latinx pioneers at Evaluation 2016, Senior Latin@ Evaluators Reflections on Culturally Responsive Evaluation + Design.

Get Involved: To learn more about evaluation theory and practice by, for and with Latinx communities join LA RED by emailing lared.tig@gmail.com.

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

¡Saludos! I am Grisel M. Robles-Schrader, of the Center for Community Health at Northwestern University and Robles-Schrader Consulting, Chicago, IL.

LA RED TIG is highlighting Latinx evaluators that inform the field of culturally responsive evaluation practice and theory.

Norma Martinez-Rubin, of Evaluation Focused Consulting, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and discovered her passion for evaluation work when a friend asked her to help with an evaluation project. Her bilingual (English/Spanish) and bicultural (Mexican American) background, as well as her formal education in the disciplines of public health and business administration inform her unique perspective.

Why I chose to honor this evaluator:

Norma’s interests in culturally responsive assessments and evaluations stem from a desire to learn about people and co-design evaluations that reflect their needs. As an external evaluator, she understands the importance of building and nurturing relationships. She employs qualitative inquiry approaches to help give meaning to the words and actions of the communities she serves. She is keenly aware of her understanding of Latinx communities, but is conscious of the dynamic and evolving nature of how these communities define themselves and their values and the importance of continual study.

While her culturally responsive approaches support organizations in identifying the most relevant evaluation approaches for their clients, she uses her business background to support the financial health of organizations. She identifies cost-effective strategies for implementing, improving, and sustaining programs and services that improve the lives of their clients.

For her, evaluation is an opportunity to “bridge her passion for public health with purposeful research to foster social change through systematic inquiry for organizational decision making.”

Norma has been involved with AEA since 2006. She has reviewed session proposals for numerous TIGS since joining AEA. She has served as Chair of the Independent Consulting TIG (2011) and Program Co-Chair for the Evaluation Use TIG (2012-14).

Rad Resources: Meet her and Janet Smith of Edscape Consulting at their upcoming session, Exploring Essentials of Culturally Responsive Evaluation among Independent Consultants, at AEA 2016 Evaluation + Design Conference in Atlanta, Thursday, October 27, 2016, at 1 P.M. local time (Session ID#1162).

Read her book chapter titled, Balancing Inside-Outsider Roles as a New, External Evaluator in Qualitative Inquiry in Evaluation: From Theory to Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2014). It illustrates how personal curiosity, professional training, and personal experiences can function as levers when designing and implementing protocols for focus groups and semi-structured interviews.

Get Involved: To learn more about evaluation theory and practice by, for and with Latinx communities join LA RED by emailing lared.tig@gmail.com.

9780470447673.pdf

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.

Greetings, I am June Gothberg, the Chair of the Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG. We have been honored to be included in aea365 and hope that you have gained in your knowledge and expanded your evaluator toolbox this week.

I would like to wrap up our week with the broad topic of inclusive evaluation. I was introduced to the term in the late 90s by our past AEA President, Donna Mertens. In her 1999 AJE article, she stated “Inclusive evaluation has the potential to contribute to an enhanced ability to assert truth, objectivity, credibility, validity, and rigor… based on a review of world history, certain groups have been systematically excluded from having meaningful participation in the design, implementation, and use of evaluations that impact them”. It’s my belief that in order for evaluators to provide unbiased, accurate, and useful results, they must attend to those in the margins.

Lessons Learned and Hot Tips:

  1. Increasing participation from marginalized populations increases evaluation validity and reliability. Think about it, without the voices of all, how do we make recommendations for all?
  2. Marginalized populations may include more than you know. In addition to people with mental or physical disabilities there are: addicts, historically oppressed, homeless, LGBTQ, low-income, low-literate, the aging, those from the non-dominate culture, trauma survivors, veterans, and women and girls.
  3. Persons from marginalized or vulnerable groups may be hard to identify. Many vulnerabilities are invisible. For example, people with learning disabilities, veterans with PSTD, people that have experienced abuse, or people with mental health issues.
  4. Learn the language. Professions outside evaluation are also tackling this issue but may use differing terms: education uses inclusion, mainstreaming, least restrictive environment, employers tend to use the terms integrated and equal access; community planners and agencies use terms like independent, universal, accessible, and livable.
  5. Accommodations tend to benefit more than the marginalized person. I recently attended a MIhiddentalent.org conference where employers discussed the advantages of diverse work populations. On a large panel of the nation’s top employers, every one of them said the benefits to all employees far exceeded the cost of accommodating employees.

Rad Resources:

  1. AEA’s Cultural Competency Statement http://bit.ly/AEACC
  2. Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) http://bit.ly/CREAIL
  3. Mertens, D.M. (2009). Transformative research and evaluation. New York: Guilford Press. http://bit.ly/DMTrans
  4. Thurston & Jenson (2014). Merging Trauma-Informed and Universal Design Principles http://bit.ly/TIUDE

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Disabilities and Other Vulnerable Populations TIG (DOVP) Week. The contributions all week come from DOVP 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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