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MSI Fellowship Week: Chandra Story on Practice Based Evidence and Evidence Based Practice in Program Evaluation

My name is Chandra Story. I was a 2016 AEA Minority Serving Institution Fellow this year and am a faculty member at Oklahoma State University in Health Education and Promotion/Public Health. My background includes project management and evaluation for federally funded projects, along with non-profit organizations. I have had the opportunity to partner with amazing community members across the country to describe and define what evidence means. The purpose of this blog is to explore and share a few tips on evidence based practice and practice based evidence.

A few definitions and thoughts:

Evidence based practice (EBP) is considered the foundation of public health practice. As a scholar, I am aware of the importance of evidence as a framework. However, as a culturally responsive evaluator, I need to allow community members to compare current EBP with their culture and definitions of health. By engaging community members, we are adding to the evidence base.

Practice based evidence (PBE) is the result of meaningful partnerships between academia and communities to identify and develop appropriate evaluation strategies. Due to cultural nuances, evidence may be defined in different ways. For example, increases in self- esteem among youth due to participation in cultural practices can be considered as evidence of program success in some communities.

Hot Tip:

In closing, I feel that both EBP and PBE are needed for effective and culturally responsive evaluation.  As an evaluator, I am responsible for investigating how success is defined by the community. With the right conversations, evaluators and communities can partner for better health outcomes.

The American Evaluation Association is AEA Minority Serving Institution (MSI) Fellowship Experience week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s MSI Fellows. For more information on the MSI fellowship, see this webpage: http://www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=230 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.

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