Advancing Culturally Responsive Evaluations for Boys and Men of Color

by Heather Lewis-Charp; Hanh Cao Yu; Traci Endo Inouye

Mar 3, 2017

The field of culturally responsive evaluations (CRE) and comprehensive efforts to improve outcomes for boys and men of color (BMOC) are in their infancy. Yet attention to the development of the knowledge base and expansion of practice is needed due to the groundswell of interest in both areas in recent years. For instance, in 2014, President Obama established the My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Task Force. MBK is a coordinated federal effort with private philanthropic organizations and communities to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by BMOC and to ensure that all young people can reach their full potential. While BMOCs are the targets of many social programs and interventions, a dearth of high-quality culturally responsive evaluations exist on the effectiveness of various gender- and population-specific approaches for BMOCs to achieve measurable results.

  • Culturally Responsive Evaluation is, at its simplest, evaluation that integrates cultural practices, understandings, and norms into its theory, measures, analysis, and practice.
  • Guiding principles for Culturally Responsive Evaluation include 1) inclusion in design and implementation; 2) acknowledgment/infusion of multiple world views; 3) appropriate measures of success; 4) cultural and systems analysis; and 5) relevance to diverse communities.
  • Partnerships of universities, evaluation firms, and funders should act on the issue of the lack of diversity in the evaluation field by disseminating key findings and strategies and by lending support for initiatives designed to diversify the field.
  • Characteristics of Culturally Responsive/Competent Evaluators include: 1) experience in diverse communities; 2) openness to learning about cultural complexities; 3) flexibility in evaluation design and practice; 4) rapport and trust with diverse communities; 5) acknowledgment of power differentials; 6) self-reflection for recognizing cultural biases; 7) translation and mediation across diverse groups; and 8) comprehension of historical and institutional oppression.