Welcome to aea365! Please take a moment to review our new community guidelines. Learn More.

La RED TIG Week: Culturally Relevant Evaluation (CRE) In Practice by Susana Morales

Author Susana Morales

Hola. My name is Susana Morales and I am the Director of Community Health at the Texas Health Institute. 

A few months ago, I facilitated a focus group in what is known as the most diverse part of Houston. We partnered with an anchor community organization because we know from experience that doing so leads to successful recruitment and planning of focus groups in communities where we are an unrecognizable entity. The mission of the Alliance is to create opportunities for refugees, immigrants, and underserved residents to achieve their goals for self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life. As such their community reach is very diverse. The focus group was facilitated in five languages: English and Spanish for the most part (as I am bilingual) and we had interpreters and translators for three more languages including Dari, Urdu, and Arabic. My role as a culturally relevant evaluator was to ensure all voices were heard and all experiences validated based on the beautiful differences of cultures, perspectives, and languages. 

What does it mean to be culturally relevant evaluators when there is such diversity in the room and how can we excel?
  1. Being self-aware of your own culture and what you bring to the conversation. 
  2. Honoring the context by incorporating lived experience of community members.
  3. Remaining sensitive and responsive to the culture of the participants and their cultural environment.
  4. Recognizing the sociopolitical context. 

To wrap it up, the focus group was very successful and insightful. We managed to finish on time, asked all of our questions, and I personally learned to trust the process and speak slowly. There is no rush when you are sharing a conversation with community members. As for the translation of the transcript, well that’s a whole different blog.

Rad Resources

  1. A guide to conducting culturally responsive evaluations
  2. Guiding questions for supporting culturally responsive evaluation practices and equity-based perspective

The American Evaluation Association is hosting Latina/o Responsive Evaluation Discourse TIG Week. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from LA RED Topical Interest Group 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. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.