We look forward to having you at the RoE Annual Meeting at AEA 2021! Anybody is welcome to attend our TIG meeting. We will be meeting for 1.5 hours. We'll spend about 15 minutes at the front sharing updates from our TIG. The remaining time will be spent in a session on harm in evaluation and thinking about a research agenda on the topic. See below for more info.
TITLE: Understanding and addressing potential for harm in evaluation practice
PRESENTERS: Mariana Branco & Stephen Porter
ABSTRACT: Professional evaluators work with others making choices on what gets counted and what counts, and in doing so directly and indirectly affect peoples’ lives for better or worse. Evaluation processes can include or exclude key issues such as gender disparities, they can suggest the allocation of resources and they can report upon people in a manner that recognizes or minimizes cultural assets. Evaluators have the power to address and potentially cause harm through their work.
Evaluation practice is at a moment where root and branch change is being undertaken: underlying practices are being questioned; approaches are evolving; and new practice arising. From the equitable evaluation initiative, to footprint evaluation, in Africa and during AEA and EES conferences evaluators are defining approaches that better account for equity, environmental sustainability, culturally responsiveness, transformation and interacting with complex systems. A key issue that needs further attention in these discussions is how evaluation can address harm in itself and in the work it assesses. Becoming more explicit about developing a harm lens can reinforce the evolution of evaluation by helping to put in place systematic reflection on where we may fall short on our professional responsibilities and become more consistent with aspirations to be helpful change agents.
This session discusses these issues and highlights ways in which evaluation professionals are adapting their practice to address harm.