Labor Day Week: Grisel M. Robles-Schrader on Honoring Norma Martinez-Rubin

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


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 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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