(66) Utilization of a Racial Equity Lens to help Guide Strategic Engagement and Evaluation

Session Number: 66
Track: Professional Development Workshops
Session Type: Professional Development Workshops
Workshop Lead Presenter: Paul Elam [Public Policy Associates]
Other Workshop Presenter 2: Christopher Dunbar [University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign ]
Other Workshop Presenter 3: LaShaune Johnson [Assistant Professor - Creighton University]
Other Workshop Presenter 4: Willard Walker [Senior Policy Consultant - Public Policy Associates, Inc.]
Time: Nov 08, 2017 (12:00 PM - 03:00 PM)
Room: Delaware B

Theme: Select one
Audience Level: All Audiences
Learning Outcomes (PD Workshops): Participants will:

a. Be introduced to a framework for conducting evaluation using a racial equity lens.
b. Be exposed to key elements of the framework that can improve the quality of evaluation in diverse settings.
c. Assess their own individual cultural background and explore how it may influence the design choices they make in their evaluation work.

Session Abstract (150 words): 

The field of evaluation is being challenged to move from the traditional role of evaluation, and its perceived role of objectivity, to a process that considers who is being evaluated and who is conducting the evaluation.  Over the past three years, Public Policy Associates, Inc. (PPA) has worked to develop useful frameworks, tools, and approaches that evaluators could consider to focus on the ways that race and culture might influence an evaluation process; this has resulted in the development of a framework for conducting evaluation using a racial equity lens.

This workshop focuses on the practical use of a racial equity lens when conducting evaluation.  The framework argues that culture and race are important considerations when conducting an evaluation because we believe that there are both critical and substantive nuances that are often missed, ignored, and/or misinterpreted when an evaluator is not aware of the culture of those being evaluated.

Participants will be provided with a Template for Analyzing Programs through a Culturally Responsive and Racial Equity Lens, designed to focus deliberately on an evaluation process that takes race, culture, equity, and community context into consideration. 

Presenters will also share a “How-to Process” focused on the cultural competencies of individuals conducting evaluations, how such competencies might be improved, and strategies for doing so.  This “How-to Process” is the result of thinking around developing a self-assessment instrument for evaluators, is based primarily on the cultural-proficiencies literature, and relates specifically to components of the template.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in small-group exercises to apply the concepts contained in the template to real world evaluation processes.  Based on these experiences, participants will gain practical knowledge on the use of the lens.