When conducting evaluation in cultures and contexts other than our own, one important principle is to avoid imposing inappropriate definitions of what outcomes should be considered valuable when defining what “success” looks like.
This classic consultant joke also teaches another lesson:
If you genuinely open your ears and eyes to the local culture and
Read the whole post –> The Friday Funny: What’s a “valuable outcome”?
What does it take for an outsider to do a community needs assessment in cultural contexts that are deeply entrenched in traditions and norms?
Read the whole post –> Culturally Competent Needs Assessment By an “Outsider”
So you’ve put out an RFP for an evaluation of a policy, program or initiative intended to serve and effect positive change in a “minority” community. All the proposals look terribly impressive, and they all include “cultural experts” on the evaluation team. How can you distinguish the proposals that show a clear understanding of what it takes to do effective and culturally responsive evaluations from those that merely pay ‘lip service’ to cultural competence?
Read the whole post –> How to spot a ‘lip service’ approach to culturally responsive evaluation (a checklist for evaluation clients)
In the previous discussion about evaluation’s intellectual silos, Jara Dean-Coffey suggested that there were generational differences within the U.S. evaluation community with respect to the “specialist culture” that has dominated the evaluation scene to date, and wondered whether this might also be true elsewhere. Jara’s reflections reminded me of something else I have observed and puzzled over: Are there forces working against the recognition of the newer, silo-spanning generation of evaluators? Are those forces counterproductive for advancing the discipline? What’s the cultural lens on all this? And what are the lessons here for rethinking who we listen to in the evaluation community and how we listen?
Read the whole post –> Rethinking “who’s worth listening to” – and how we listen to each other – in evaluation
I’m not sure I can come up with a ‘Copernican’ revolution of the scale Michael Scriven described in his previous post, but perhaps I can run an idea up the flagpole that has came as a realization or light-bulb moment for me and still seems to surprise and sometimes amaze other people I talk to and work with … There is a long-held belief that evaluations that draw explicitly evaluative conclusions are somehow diametrically opposed to or completely incompatible with culturally responsive evaluations that fully reflect and respect the cultural values and worldviews of indigenous peoples and others whose voices are often not heard.
Read the whole post –> Rethinking evaluation: Explicitly evaluative and culturally inclusive approaches