Module 8: Holding Accountability to Ourselves and Each Other

Accountability is familiar territory for evaluators as a large chunk of your work involves expectations of account-giving and measurement of results and processes against promised goals and objectives. Therefore, the work of accountability is critical to ensure that actions taken reflect and embody the set targets.  This is true for DEI. The gap between successful DEI hopes and dreams and success is accountability. Institutionalization of DEI can only be successful when all levels of an organization hold themselves accountable to their expressed DEI objectives. 

Commitment to DEI is demonstrated through rigorous accountability practices; Jane Stovall (2018) offers a profound and straightforward accountability process in this talk How to get serious about diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace ( 9 min). At a micro-relational level, holding each other accountable can be transformative. Seed the Way provides a framework for Interrupting Bias: Calling Out vs. Calling In Calling Out (approximately 6 min)

At a broader level, organizational accountability can be understood through a Developmental Evaluation lens. “Developmental evaluation supports the process of innovation within an organization and in its activities. Innovative initiatives are often in a state of continuous development and adaptation, and they frequently unfold in a changing and unpredictable environment. This intentional effort to innovate is a kind of organizational exploration. The destination is often a note rather than a crisp image, and the path forward may be unclear. Much is in flux: the framing of the issue can change, how the problem is conceptualized evolves, and various approaches are likely to be tested. Adaptations are largely driven by new learning and by changes in participants, partners, and context.” (McConnell Foundation, 2006). 

To learn more about developmental evaluation, we recommend this primer by The McConnell Foundation. This is a long read, 38 pages that go beyond the expectations of this module. So keep it in your library and chew a bite at a time.

Use these Reflection Questions as guides for your journaling exercise.

  • How do you hold yourself accountable in your work as an evaluator and in other roles you may play within your organization or team?

  • How do you envision holding yourself more deeply accountable to DEI in your work? 

  • What are your approaches to navigating conflict? How could you improve the ways you navigate conflict?

  • Who are the collaborators that you are learning DEI with? What are the benefits for you? How can you expand your learning community? 

  • Any further reflections?