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  • Writer's pictureEquitable Evaluation Initiative

EEF Expansion: Elements of the EEF—Principles

Principles are the foundational guideposts of the Equitable Evaluation Framework™.

A graphic representation of the EEF Principles are shown as three guideposts in the foreground with bright red circles at the top, skinny posts to the ground, and roots connecting each of them underground.

The EEF includes a commitment to three Principles. These foundational guideposts support reconceptualization of evaluative work, evaluative thinking,7 and decision-making. As such, the EEF Principles offer examination of the why and how and what of evaluation.


Principle One

Evaluation and evaluative work should be in service of equity:

  • Production, consumption, and management of evaluation and evaluative work should hold at its core a responsibility to advance progress towards equity.

Principle Two

Evaluative work should be designed and implemented commensurate with the values underlying equity work:

  • Multi-culturally valid, and

  • Oriented toward participant ownership.


Principle Three

Evaluative work can and should answer critical questions about the:

  • Ways in which historical and structural decisions have contributed to the condition to be addressed,

  • Effect of a strategy on different populations, on the underlying systemic drivers of inequity, and

  • Ways in which cultural context is tangled up in both the structural conditions and the change initiative itself.

The EEF Principles have application to all actors in the philanthropic ecosystem and are relevant no matter foundation typology, organizational assets, size, or structure. Over time, as these Principles are internalized into habits, they become (or align with) values and foster the creation of a wide variety of practices for varying contexts.



* Vo, Anne T., Jacob S. Schreiber, and Ashley Martin. (2018). “Toward a conceptual understanding of evaluative thinking.” New Directions for Evaluation: 29-47.

Wehipeihana, Nan, and Kate McKegg. (2018). “Values and culture in evaluative thinking: Insights from Aotearoa New Zealand.” New Directions for Evaluation: 93-107.

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