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Roots and Relations: Celebrating Good Medicine in Indigenous Evaluation

Wuliit Wchapikal (wool-leet which-ah-pee-kul): Good Medicine! That is what the new “Roots and Relations” (R&R) permanent section in CJPE intends to be. The purpose of the R&R journey is to honour our lineage, grow our kinship, and sustain our intergenerational legacies of Indigenous wisdom and practices in evaluation. R&R will sacredly hold and protect traditional knowledge, respect and assert sovereignty, provide a nurturing space for Indigenous voices, and celebrate Indigenous innovations in evaluation.

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Beverly Parsons, Lovely Dhillon, and Matt Keene (Eds.). (2020). Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future . Charlotte, NC: Information Age, 276 pages.

In stark contrast to the imminent dystopia often depicted in today’s media,Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future brings the reader some much-needed optimism. Through engaging, Socratic dialogue, readers are ushered into 2030, a year the authors have designated the Anthropocene, where anthropogenic ecological and climate change have nearly reached a point of no return on Earth.

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Introduction: Transforming Evaluation Practice for “Business Unusual”

The articles in this thematic segment are all in themselves “unusual” in relation to the usual business of the CJPE. Rather than reporting on empirical work or methodological innovations, this collection of articles considers ways in which evaluation practice could now be transformed to contribute to efforts that support “Business Unusual.” I am therefore delighted, and most grateful to the CJPE for having agreed to their publication.

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Evaluation in Transition: The Promise and Challenge of South - South Cooperation

In order for the evaluation field to ensure its salience over the next decade, high-profile areas of work have to be sought where evaluative practices are underexplored or undervalued yet can help inspire and accelerate urgently needed transformations while also advancing evaluation theory and practice.

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The Rights of Nature: An Emerging Transformation Opportunity for Evaluation

“Building back better” in the post-COVID-19 Anthropocene era requires novel ideas and ways of working to truly challenge “business as usual” and contribute to urgently needed systems transformations. This article invites post-normal evaluation professionals to engage with the concept of the Rights of Nature, a generative form of institutional innovation that recognizes ecosystems and natural communities as entities that have an independent right to exist and flourish that can be enforced under legal or social norms.

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Catching the Wave: Harnessing Data Science to Support Evaluation’s Capacity for Making a Transformational Contribution to Sustainable Development

In this article we set ourselves three challenges: first, to examine the potential of the data revolution to aid the transformational change required to achieve sustainable development goals second, and the ability of evaluation to contribute to greater engagement with data science technologies; and third, the capacity of data science to further evaluation as an innovative and progressive field of inquiry. We also discuss the political, economic, cultural, and ethical challenges that data science presents to sustainable development and evaluation.

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kawiyahîtamik kesi wîcehtâsôk : (To Examine in Order to Support/Redirect)

Recently, human-service providers across Canada have made conscious efforts toward reconciliation through Indigenizing programming. However, while the delivery of programs has shifted, how they are evaluated remains rooted in Western ideologies and methodologies. In response to the tension created by using Western evaluation methods for assessing Indigenous-designed programs, we have developed an Indigenous program evaluation framework based in nêhiyaw (Cree) teachings and co-created by Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

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Cultivating Cultural Competence

Cultural competence is a complex and contested notion. Yet it remains integral to working with difference in the context of evaluation practice. Given its status in evaluation practice, the field’s commitment to cultural competence prompts the need for further interrogation and reconsideration. Accordingly, this article explores the establishment and conceptualization of cultural competence. Potential challenges to cultural competence are also examined. In consideration of these challenges, an alternative framework is offered based on the philosophy of Emanuel Levinas.

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