LGBT Issues TIG Week: Cultural Adaptation of LGBTQ Evaluation Trainings by Gregory Phillips II and Eva Sarr

We are Dr. Gregory Phillips II (he/him), Assistant Professor at Northwestern University and Chair of the LGBT TIG, and Ms. Eva Sarr (she/her), Founding Director of the Centre for Multicultural Policy and Program Evaluation and Founding Chair of the Australian Evaluation Society’s Multicultural Special Interest Group. 

I (Gregory) have had the privilege to deliver many LGBTQ evaluation trainings within a variety of settings with the help of my team. Learning not only the proper terminology for sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity, but also how to correctly analyze and interpret LGBTQ Evaluation data has been important for evaluators of all ages and experience levels. However, all of our trainings have been delivered in the context of the United States (US) and have used US examples. While this might still resonate with evaluators in other countries, it goes against our desire to ensure delivery of culturally responsive evaluative trainings. Thanks to connections fostered by Drs. Stafford Hood and Rodney Hopson, I’ve had the opportunity to grow a relationship with Ms. Sarr to tailor trainings for Australia.

I (Eva) have too delivered evaluation capacity building workshops in international and Australian contexts, but none that specialize in culturally responsive training with LGBTQ communities, which is why I connected with Dr. Phillips. Whilst terminology for sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity appears to be the same across the two jurisdictions, words don’t mean much when they are out of context.

So we have just begun the process of revisiting and revising Gregory’s current slate of training offerings through ongoing meetings. As has been highlighted by AEA365 in past blog posts, we all do better work together by bringing our own areas of expertise, and this is an excellent case study of collaboration in practice. Not only will we be using example scenarios from Australia in partnerships with intersectionality and LGBTQ scholar-practitioners to ensure workshop participants can connect with the materials, but we will also incorporate intersectional viewpoints that reflect differences in Indigenous and culturally-specific terminology. Above all, we prioritize equity and deconstructing discrimination in everything we do. Due to the distance and the ongoing pandemic, we’ll also be pilot testing a hybrid delivery model of our LGBTIQ+ Evaluation. Stay tuned for some hot tips next year when the LGBT TIG sponsors an AEA365 week!

Hot Tips:

  • Don’t let your evaluation trainings get stale – revisit them at least annually.
  • Always consider the context of your training – terminology and health systems are likely very different between countries or even states.
  • We do better work together – strive to generate community through collaboration!
  • Never forget about intersectionality – decentering whiteness is the second principle of LGBTQ Evaluation.

The American Evaluation Association is hosting LGBT Issues TIG Week with our colleagues in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to AEA365 come from our LGBT TIG 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.

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