What was Trending at #Eval2016?

evaluation-trends-1CULTURAL RESPONSIVENESS!

The phrase “culturally responsive” was mentioned in the title of 16 AEA sessions while “cultural responsiveness” was mentioned in one other. Unfortunately, I think sometimes that’s where our attention to cultural responsiveness ends in evaluation – in the title or as a catch-phrase used in reports. But I noticed something different at Eval16 as compared to previous conferences; I heard colleagues talking about the intersection of culture and evaluation both inside and outside of conference sessions.

One of the things that really impacted me was when Dr. Nicole Bowman read A Cherokee Prayer during the Opening Plenary. The prayer reminded me of the importance of understanding the origins of our field of evaluation, the diverse backgrounds of our participants, our own backgrounds, as well as the history and culture of the organizations with which we work. As evaluators, we must continue to recognize, discuss, and be responsive to cultural context and the cultural diversity of individuals, communities, and organizations.

Want to learn more about cultural responsiveness in evaluation? Check out Continuing the Journey to Reposition Culture and Cultural Context in Evaluation Theory and Practice or read the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation.

*Read the entire article, EVALUATION TRENDS: LESSONS FROM EVAL16.