Evaluation Theories/Week 13: 4/16/14: Connecting Theory to Practice: Context, Culture and Ethics (TA Led)

Type classification: this is a notes resource.

See the Program Evaluation Standards

In-Class PSYCH 315z – Comparative Evaluation Theory 2014-04-16

TA-Led class today. 15 minutes at end of class for final paper.

  1. Cultural Competency
  2. Fitzpatrick INterview Discussion
  3. Standards & Guidelines for Ethical Evaluations
  4. Activity: Ethical Dilemmas

What exactly is culture? “Our shared experience; can include language, values, customs, belief.” -

  1. Can include factors such as gender, religion, …
  2. Is not fixed, and can change over time
  3. Often embedded in the context of hte system

Culture shapes our behaviors and perspectives, and in turn our behaviors and perspectives can shape culture.

Relationship with evaluations:


We bring our own culture to the evaluation; and the beneficiaries we interact with all have their own cultures and perspectives that they bring.

Examples of how culture might shape different parts of an eval?

  1. Measurement issues;
  2. Identification of stakeholders;
  3. Will affect Communication in general, and often slow it down.

It also shapes the:

  1. Type, setting, evaluand
  2. All phases of the evaluation
  3. Questions asked, data collected
  4. How data is interpreted and recorded.

Evaluation can’t be “culture free” - the influence of cultural values and perspectives highlights the importance of evaluations being “culturally competent” in order to . . .

Assimilation, acculturation, and how that affects the evaluator.

If these are ignored, then the evaluation can be flawed and have detrimental effects / consequences.

Cultural Competency edit

Cultural Competency is “…a stance taken toward culture, not a discrete status or simple mastery of particular knowledge and skills” (AEA Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation, 2011)

It’s the perspective that you bring: it’s not a “yes/no” question: cultural competence depends on the situation. Having the mindset to be open and respectful to other’s e(xperiences...)

Activity edit

What program was being evaluated?

What was the purpose of the evaluation and who did the evaluator arrive at this purpose?

Do you think the approach, design, and methods were a good match for context and purpose?

What political issues were particularly salient in their evaluation?

How did the evaluator respond to these issues?

You will be assigned to read a comprehensive document on each of these sets of standards.

i is 5

Group 5

We should have already gone through a process with the client to determine what constitutes an acceptable measured effect.

If no time to work with stakeholders: What do we report? - Write report where we include data, show that we could not find a strong.

If we can work with stakeholders, what do we do next? -

Go to them to go through the process of identifying without letting them know that we already have the results, (which could bias them). 

Assumption: Feasibility; Tradeoff: Justified Conclusions and Impartial Reporting vs. Human Interactions (not