Hello! We are Donna Mertens and Mika Yamashita, Chair and Program Chair of Mixed Methods Evaluation TIG. This week, we offer five posts written by Feminist Issues in Evaluation TIG members. Why is the Mixed Methods TIG co-hosting this week with the Feminist Issues in Evaluation TIG? Because this week’s posts touch upon issues associated with theoretical and paradigmatic choices and their implications to evaluation design and methods. “Mixed methods” may give you an impression that it is all about techniques of using quantitative and qualitative methods in one evaluation study. It is one area of discussion. Mixed Methods Evaluation TIG views that mixing can occur at the level of inquiry purpose, philosophical assumptions, methodological design and/or specific data gathering technique. So, Mixed Methods Evaluation TIG sees our discussion can include the relationship between paradigmatic and theoretical lenses and methods. The authors of this week’s posts will walk us through how the feminist lens informed inquiry purposes, choice of evaluation design, and methods.
Highlighted for FIE/MME week are:
- Authors will explicitly talk about their worldviews, such as:
- what they believe in (they believe social justice),
- issues they are concerned about (they are concerned with gender issues and marginalized populations),
- and how their worldviews influenced evaluation questions they asked and their choice of methods.
Lesson Learned: Your evaluation lens is important. The feminist lens helps evaluators to see conflicting views of what the problem is. With this understanding, evaluators consciously make decisions about what and whose evaluation questions to be asked. The feminist lens also helps evaluators to see the diversity among a disadvantaged population.
- Be reflective. You will also notice that evaluators are reflective of how they and their evaluations may be perceived by other people. They provide lessons learned from establishing relationships with evaluation participants, evaluation commissioner, and audience.
- Match your analysis to your evaluation design. Evaluators decided data collection and analysis methods by considering evaluation questions, purpose of evaluation, and settings in which data collection took place. How to include perspectives of marginalized population is an important consideration for deciding methods.
- Hood and Cassaro’s article in New Directions for Evaluation: Feminist evaluation and the inclusion of difference.
- Podems’ article: Feminist evaluation and gender approaches: There’s a difference?
- Merten’s book: Transformative Research and Evaluation
- If you are new to mixed methods evaluation, we recommend Greene, Caracelli, and Graham’s seminal 1989 article: Toward a Conceptual Framework for Mixed-Methods Evaluation.
- The slides from the June 11, 2012, Washington Evaluators’ brown bag session: Where are we in mixed method evaluation? The slides include paradigms mixed methods evaluation often drawn upon.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Mixed Methods Evaluation and Feminist Issues TIGs (FIE/MME) Week. The contributions all week come from FIE/MME 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.