Our Goal with Equitable Evaluation

Our goal is that funders and evaluators recognize that evaluation 1) can be a powerful tool that supports stated aims and 2) is not neutral or objective but reflects a set of assumptions and values which privilege and therefore also oppress. For those engaged in equity efforts, this is of particular importance and we ask that they embrace equitable evaluation.

Equitable evaluation requires a commitment to three principles:

 

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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.

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

  • Effect of a strategy on the underlying systemic drivers of inequity

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

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

  • Multi-culturally valid

  • Oriented toward participant ownership.

To align evaluation practices with an equity approach—and even more powerfully, to use evaluation as a tool for advancing equity—evaluators must simultaneously consider all of these aspects:

  • Diversity of their teams moving beyond cultural to disciplines, beliefs, and lived experiences

  • Cultural appropriateness and validity of their methods

  • Ability of the design to reveal structural and systems-level drivers of inequity (present day and historically)

  • Degree to which communities have the power to shape and own how evaluation happens

Take a look at our Framing Paper to learn more.

The EqM crew reviewed your framing paper when it came out and I am thrilled to say that it has been added to our “must reads” list of our foundational curriculum. Thank you for your incredible thought leadership!
— Meg Long, President, Equal Measure