Equity In Motion
In EE , is an aspirational value for both evaluation processes and program results. Groups and individuals differ in their to create and enjoy healthy communities, and evaluators must acknowledge this disparity. Different life experiences lead to different ways that people make sense of the world. Evaluations have to influence which viewpoints are reflected in decision-making processes and through resource allocation. Persons operating in an evaluation role need to design studies and protocols that recognize , and the reality of white and . On the back end, reports should resist simplistic stereotypical representations of people. , such as funders and supervisors, who commission and oversee evaluations have an obligation to establish and support policies and practices that contribute to equitable processes and outcomes by design (e.g., require grantees to employ people who share lived experiences in communities of interest, allow time for relationship building, support research designs that are relevant and responsive to stakeholders, invest in longer-term capacity-building for organizations and communities).
Authentic is essential to EE evaluation. It requires humility and sensitivity, recognizing the inherent strengths and wisdom present in all evaluative contexts. NAAEE Community Engagement Guidelines remind us that authentic engagement is oriented toward collaboration, inclusivity, capacity-building, and civic action that contributes to healthier communities and equitable outcomes for all. Authentic engagement includes persons impacted by the program directly and indirectly (e.g., program providers, program participants, non-participants, supervisors, funders), paying special attention to issues of power and privilege. Ideally, participants are involved in evaluations as team members, designers, decision-makers and implementers of the evaluation (rather than as data sources only). This means setting aside , time, and -centered support systems to build trusting, respectful, and genuine relationships to ensure multiple voices are incorporated in meaningful ways. Given their day-to-day demands, practitioners may wrestle with the pressure to slow down the process for systemic change to happen. Funders can support this process by providing capital, creating connections, or supporting the equitable involvement of stakeholders.