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



Cultural Competence Week: Cindy Crusto and Osman Ozturgut on the Re-Introduction to AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group and Reminder to Examine the “Self”

Hi, we’re Cindy Crusto, associate professor, Yale University School of Medicine and Osman Özturgut, assistant professor,University of the Incarnate Word. We are members of the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group.  We write to remind you of the purpose of the Working Group and the importance of acknowledging the “self” in the journey toward greater cultural competence.

The AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation (Statement) affirms the significance of cultural competence in evaluation and identifies essential practices for cultural competence. The translation of concepts articulated in the Statement into practice remains important. The dissemination working group, an AEA operational group, comprised of AEA members, engages in dissemination (developing and executing dissemination), translation, and maintenance plans for the Statement.

We received great feedback on our first aea365 series last year (see aea365 archive). This second series updates you on our activities and shares some resources, including a one-page version of the Statement that Melanie Hwalek will tell you about this week. Look for our next submissions this fall related to our proposed conference sessions.

A central tenet of cultural competence in evaluation is that there is no list of considerations and activities that could suffice to ensure cultural competence.  Instead, according to the Statement, “Cultural competence is a stance taken toward culture, not a discrete status or simple mastery of particular knowledge or skills.”

The Statement also indicates that “…cultural competence in evaluation requires that evaluators maintain a high degree of self-awareness and self-examination to better understand how their own background and other life experiences serve as assets or limitations in the conduct of an evaluation.” Thus, to be better evaluators, we need to examine a wide variety of perspectives, including our own. And, we argue that awareness of one’s own assumptions, prejudices, and stereotypes is the first step in moving toward greater cultural competency. We need to have a stronger understanding of the “self” with regard to why we believe what we believe and why we do what we do. We need to look at ourselves and think about how it influences our work. Many of our values operate outside of our awareness, and this requires extensive self-reflection and critical self-analysis.

Rad Resources:  The following resources can assist in the journey toward developing greater self-awareness: Check out the Intercultural Development Inventory, which provides a look into one’s intercultural competence.

Also, check out Sammut, Daanen, and Moghaddam’s new book, Understanding the Self and Others: Explorations in Intersubjectivity and Interobjectivity.

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This week, we’re diving into issues of Cultural Competence in Evaluation with AEA’s Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working 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 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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