Assignment: Cultural Blindness.

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Assignment: Cultural Blindness.

Assignment: Cultural Blindness.

Self-reflection for recognizing cultural biases. Culturally competent evaluators take the time to become mindful of potential biases and prejudices and how they might be incorporated into their research.

Translation and mediation across diverse groups. Culturally competent evaluators are skilled in translating jargon-laden evaluation findings to those who may not be trained in evaluation or have high levels of education, literacy, or English-language fluency. Likewise, evaluators also must be adept in communicating cultural paradigms and community voice back to funders.

Comprehension of historic and institutional oppression. An understanding of oppression is critical for designing evaluations that integrate how historic and current social systems, institutions, and societal norms contribute to disparities among different communities.

The power imbalances that are inherent within both funder–grantee relationships and evaluator– community relationships require specific and explicit attention throughout the evaluation process. Understanding and implementing multicultural evaluation approaches is an ongoing process. A meaningful shift toward multicultural evaluation will be determined greatly by the individual and collective beliefs, experiences, and will of the people within the organization. Therefore, as with many personal or institutional journeys toward change, the path toward multicultural evaluation can be considered a progression along a continuum.

Table 6.4 maps the implementation of multicultural evaluation principles (outlined earlier) along a stepwise continuum. This continuum is adapted from the stages of cultural competency that were developed for the service delivery field. It assumes that the implementation of evaluation principles unfolds in four stages:

TABLE 6.4 Continuum of Multicultural Evaluation

Source: Inouye, Yu, and Adefuin (2005).
Cultural incompetence. Diverse cultures are not acknowledged in evaluation.

Cultural blindness. Awareness of diversity may exist but is not presumed to be a critical factor within evaluation design or implementation.

Cultural sensitivity. Acknowledgment of cultural differences exists, and steps are taken to incorporate cultural considerations within existing evaluation models.

Cultural proficiency. The way that evaluations are designed and implemented are fundamentally shifted to honor and capitalize upon the diverse cultural contexts in which target populations exist.

A true shift to a multicultural paradigm takes time. The extent to which some or all of the multicultural evaluation steps are incorporated into evaluation practice will determine whether researchers and foundations are harbingers of the shifts that can revolutionize the evaluation world.

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