This is an Eval Central archive copy, find the original at evalacademy.com.
Welcome to our monthly roundup of new and noteworthy evaluation news and resources – here is the latest.
New and Noteworthy — Reads
Last month we highlighted Khalil Bitar’s blog post from May 11 where he talked about how the evaluation community is not immune to prejudice, discrimination and racism. He went on to say that the evaluation community is in fact practicing racism by primarily producing and sharing evaluation knowledge by white men from the Global North. Two weeks after this blog post George Floyd was killed. George Floyd’s killing ignited protests across the world, but it also ignited more reflection and conversation about what could be done about systemic racism in our societies. Evaluators reflected through their blogs on how evaluators can begin to move the needle. Some relevant blog posts to check out include:
Jara Dean-Coffey – Musings + Machinations
Jara Dean-Coffey is the Founder and Director of the Equitable Evaluation Initiative (EEI). If you haven’t checked out the EEI then make a point to do so. There are resources that evaluators can access to better understand how evaluation can and should be “utilized in a manner that promotes equity.” But as Jara stated on LinkedIn, she felt the need to write outside of EEI and recently began a blog called musings + machinations – writings by jdc. In June she posted 12 posts! Read them all and make sure to subscribe to this blog – her musings are insightful and and her machinations inspiring.
Engage R+D – It’s Time to Let Go of Tired Narratives about Talent in Evaluation
We hear a lot about narratives these days. In this blog post on Engage R+D, Clare Nolan talks about narratives – what they are, the power they can have, and how they have been used to support oppression. She talks about some of the tired narratives about talent and expertise in evaluation that “get in the way of effective and equitable solutions” and then counters those with ideas of potential new narratives that can help advance equity. For example, we’ve all heard the “diverse applicants don’t meet our standard qualifications.” A potential new narrative is looking at how implicit bias and white-dominant norms are constraining our ability to recognize valuable knowledge, experience and credibility.
Michael Quinn Patton’s Rules for Privileged Straight White Males and Andrea Guerrero-Guajardo’s Rewrite
MQP published a blog post on his website that outlined rules for straight white males. He outlined ten rules that privileged white males don’t necessarily have to like or agree with but do have to follow. If you scroll down to the comments you can find many people who definitely disagree and not in a constructive manner. Someone who did provide constructive feedback was Andrea Guerrero-Guajardo who put time and thought into rewriting MQP’s rules, which can be found here.
Chris Lysy – Evaluation, Compassion, Fatigue and Health Inequity
Chris’ blog post talks about a number of different topics, as the name suggests. He explores how as evaluators we need to not only do something but stand for something. He suggests the Equitable Evaluation Initiative as a resource and approach for how evaluators can channel their efforts and keep the momentum moving forward because “failing to channel our efforts can quickly lead to fatigue.” In this blog post, he also explores inequity in public health data.
New and Noteworthy — Tools
Code for America’s Quantitative Research Practice Guide
Code for America has come out with a timely guide that can be used by anyone looking to conduct qualitative research “in ways that can help everyone ensure that their products and services are as inclusive as possible.” The guide outlines specific methods for conducting research and analysis, but to be honest my favourite part of this guide is Code for America’s core research philosophy and guiding principles. The fact that this organization has a research philosophy and guiding principles is swoon-worthy enough, but how they have articulated their philosophy and guiding principles is so on point I found myself re-reading it several times. They conclude their research philosophy by stating: “Ultimately, research is a tide that lifts all boats. It is fundamental to developing government services that better and more equitably meet the needs of communities. Raising the bar on quality of research raises the bar on quality and effectiveness for everything that we seek to do for the world.” Well said.
New and Noteworthy — Courses, Events and Webinars
Instructor: Mosaic.net International Inc.
July 7 – 13
A variety of courses starting July 20 that are being conducted by various instructors, including some big names like Michael Quinn Patton, Ann K. Emery, and Ann Doucette.
We have a free guide:
Applying the JCSEE Evaluation Standards in Practice
Whether you’ve read The Program Evaluation Standards cover to cover or not, you may be wondering how to ensure you’re applying them to your evaluation practice. This free digital download will give you the reflective prompts you need to ensure your next evaluation project incorporates all 30 Standards.
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