To infuse philanthropy’s evaluation process with equity necessitates a shift to a new paradigm: equitable evaluation. Through EE practices, grantmakers can create an evaluation process that serves as a tool to both serve and contribute to equity. This new approach asks questions that lead to greater understanding to address systemic sources of inequity. It also designs and implements processes that are culturally competent, multiculturally valid, and oriented toward participant partnership.
To advance the learning and practice of equitable evaluation, PEAK Grantmaking has joined forces with a group of other philanthropy serving organizations in a new coalition: Associations Advancing Equitable Evaluations Practices (AAEEP).
As a first step, we have issued this joint statement setting forth our shared commitment to providing resources and learning to support – and advance – EE practices by our members and the sector.
JOINT STATEMENT OF ASSOCIATIONS ADVANCING EQUITABLE EVALUATION PRACTICES
The undersigned philanthropy serving organizations, collectively the Associations Advancing Equitable Evaluation Practices (“AAEEP”), issue this joint statement to announce our commitment to advance the learning and practice of equitable evaluation among our members. We believe that doing so supports the important equity-focused work to which many of our members are already committed, optimizes philanthropy’s benefit to society, and promotes the knowledge sharing, and relationship building necessary to advance equitable evaluation in the philanthropic sector.
Equitable evaluation seeks to help mission driven organizations naming equity or racial equity as their strategic end to use every asset, including evaluation, in service of that aim. The current evaluation paradigm honors particular types of knowledge resulting in findings that often feel disconnected from and not reflective of the values of nonprofit and community partners. To better align evaluation practices with an equity approach, the equitable evaluation paradigm instructs that foundations ensure that their evaluation and evaluative work:
- are in service of and contribute to equity;
- answer critical questions about the impact of a strategy on different populations; how that strategy addresses systemic sources of inequity; and how history and cultural context affect that strategy and existing inequities; and
- are designed and implemented in a way that is culturally competent, multiculturally valid and oriented toward participant partnership.
As a result of this commitment we join the Equitable Evaluation Initiative (“EEI”) and its partners to build the equitable evaluation field. We will introduce our members to the latest research and information about equitable evaluation. We will provide our members with EEI informed content, and serve as resources within our respective regions to support and engage funders embarking upon an equitable evaluation journey. Our shared commitment and collaboration will advance equitable evaluation by:
- Building the field. By sharing EEI resources and collaboratively developing equitable evaluation curriculum, we will add to the cadre of early adopters of equitable evaluation principles, and increase the demand for more evaluators committed to designing equitable evaluative processes.
- Strengthening ties and fostering cooperation among funders. Many grantmakers are addressing complex issues of inequality through collaborative funding programs and collective impact frameworks. Sector-wide equitable evaluation principles will support our members’ efforts by fostering alignment around defining success and measuring impact.
- Reduce overlap and redundant efforts. Our effort will create a space for grantmaking staff across several regions to learn, analyze, and tweak their evaluative processes together, enhancing grantmakers’ ability to achieve alignment around intended impact and impact measurement.
A sector-wide equitable evaluation infrastructure will advance members’ objectives and serve the public good.