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  • Writer's pictureEquitable Evaluation Initiative

EEF Expansion: Elements of the EEF—Tensions

Tensions are inherent strains to be named, navigated, and normalized. They can provide support in traversing the Orthodoxies named in the Equitable Evaluation Framework™.

A graphic representation of the EEF. The 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 Orthodoxies are ever-present as greyish purple vines. The Mindsets are a series of golden icons, representing shifts. The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Tensions are inherent in change processes, but they need not become breaking points.

Tensions can cause emotional, cognitive, or relational strain, requiring deft attention and

navigation. As individuals expand their being, thinking, and doing, opposition between existing practices and processes and emerging possibilities can create resistance, frustration, and confusion.


Rather than getting stuck in either/or, embracing a both/and approach recognizes complexity.Tensions provide a way to notice and surface the interrelationship of varying levels and issues in the practice of the EEF at differing perspectives. Tensions provide opportunities to name and address the dissonance (opposing ideas/approaches driven by different values and fears) and shift toward consonance (flow between one another). The aim and intention is not to “solve” tensions; rather it is to recognize, name, normalize, and navigate them.

Social Positions & Roles

Deference to hierarchy and social status


The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Influence, Organize, Mobilize

One's sphere of influence to step in or bring others along

A Thing

A project, program, study, etc. done in isolation or a vacuum


The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

A Body of Work

An expansive view that offers through lines and ah-ha’s connecting intentions and concepts​

Individuals

Individual competencies, needs, desires, and values


The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Organizations

Organizational

capacities, culture, and mission


The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Systems

Structural conditions and underlying systemic drivers at play

Technical

Approaches

A focus or priority on detailed

tactical tools and approaches


The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Conditions for Change

The support and nurture of relationship, trust, and related factors that invite possibility

Use & Adaptation

Application and modification of information and insights from people and sources for one’s own credit


The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Acknowledge &

Attribution

Recognition of the work that

supports or informs your work

with citation

Urgent &

Reactive

Pressures of deadlines, dockets,

deliverables and decisions that revert to default practices



The Tensions are represented with a tangled toggle in dark grey, showing multiple ideas upheld.

Aligned & Responsive

Time to pause and think about how the work might strategically integrate and advance aims and intentions


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