Moving Beyond the Buzzword: A Framework for Teaching Culturally Responsive Approaches to Evaluation

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The terms cultural responsiveness and cultural competence have become ubiquitous in many fields of social inquiry, including in evaluation. The discourse surrounding these issues in evaluation has also increased markedly in recent years, and the terms can now be found in many RFPs and government-based evaluation descriptions. We have found that novice evaluators are able to engage culturally responsive approaches to evaluation at the conceptual level, but are unable to translate theoretical constructs into practice. In this article we share a framework for teaching culturally responsive approaches to evaluation. The framework includes two domains: conceptual and methodological, each with two interconnected dimensions. The dimensions of the conceptual domain include locating self and social inquiry as a cultural product. The dimensions of the methodological domain include formal and informal applications in evaluation practice. Each of the dimensions are linked to multiple domains within the Competencies for Canadian Evaluation practice. We discuss each and provide suggestions for activities that align with each of the dimensions.

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