Equitable evaluation is an approach that addresses the dynamics and practices that have historically undervalued the voices, knowledge, expertise, capacity, and experiences of all evaluation participants and stakeholders, particularly people of color and other marginalized groups.

The principles of equitable evaluation promise to add value to the research process and its outcomes. Significantly, the implementation of these principles comes with important decisions related to time, funding, and definitions for rigor in research.

This report, produced by the WestEd Justice & Prevention Research Center, is based on the authors’ experiences, as well as on many thoughtful conversations with the Annie E. Casey Foundation over the course of several years of collaborative work. The brief explores the following questions:

  • What is equitable evaluation and how can it be applied?
  • Reflecting on both the evaluations for Casey and other experiences conducting research and evaluation, what lessons can inform how to implement equitable evaluation principles in the future?

The purpose of this brief is twofold:

  • For researchers to consider ways in which the design of future studies can best align with funders’ growing interest in promoting equity.
  • To build the capacity of both funders and researchers to reflect on how equitable evaluation principles can be applied and what might be the implications of an equity-focused approach to research and evaluation.

The authors hope the information presented generates continued discussion about how research can ideally be designed and implemented to promote equity.

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