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AES Workshop: Cross-cultural understanding for evaluation

This workshop hosted by Deborah Rhodes is designed for evaluators who work in multi-cultural contexts and in cultures other than their own. It is appropriate for those who are relatively new to evaluation. This workshop runs for two days, the 2nd and 9th of September 2020, 9:30am AEST

2nd September, 2020
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Workshop Overview

The idea of evaluation reflects cultural values about many aspects of contemporary life. These include values about change, development and risk; the gaining and sharing of knowledge, skills and wisdom; access to information and education; the completion of tasks; and the maintenance of harmonious relationships. These values are not necessarily shared universally.

The workshop is based on the concept that different cultural values have an influence on the notion and practice of evaluation in diverse contexts. It draws links between these two sets of ideas (cultural values and evaluation), based on a framework for understanding cultural value differences (Hofstede and House et al (GLOBE Study). The workshop provides opportunities for participants to consider and discuss the implications of this framework for the concept of evaluation as well as for evaluation approaches, protocols, methods and tools in practical terms. Participants are also encouraged to consider the range of professional skills and personal qualities that are likely to be useful for evaluators working in cross-cultural contexts.

Workshop Content

Participants will:

Hear about a framework for understanding cultural value differences
Discuss how these are relevant to the concept and practice of evaluation, particularly perceptions about change, information-sharing, decision-making, analysis and judgement and reporting
Consider how different approaches to evaluation (e.g. participatory, qualitative/quantitative, summative/normative, expert/collaborative/joint, empowerment, developmental etc) intersect with cultural value differences
Hear about protocols for evaluation across cultures (e.g. AES, Fred Hollows Foundation)
Consider the kinds of skills that will contribute to successful cross-cultural evaluation
Consider culturally appropriate evaluation methods/tools
Discuss the application of culturally-savvy approaches to past, current or future evaluations, if there is time available.

Workshop Objectives

Workshop learning outcomes include:

Ability to articulate basic cultural value differences
Understanding of the relevance of cultural value differences for the concept and practice of evaluation
Understanding of the skills that will support culturally-savvy evaluation practice
Ability to question evaluation methods through a cultural lens and thus influence the selection of methods and the communications related to evaluation.

PL competencies

This workshop aligns with competencies in the AES Evaluator’s Professional Learning Competency Framework. The identified domains are:

Domain 1 – Evaluative attitude and professional practice
Domain 2 – Evaluation theory
Domain 3 – Culture, stakeholders and context
Domain 6 – Interpersonal skills
Domain 7 – Evaluation Activities

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed for evaluators who work in multi-cultural contexts and in cultures other than their own. It is appropriate for those who are relatively new to evaluation.

About the facilitator

Deborah Rhodes has worked in international development for 35 years, including as an evaluator for multiple programs in many countries since 2002. She has led and participated in evaluations in diverse sectors, from education and health, to disability inclusion and climate services. She specialises in the connections between cultural value differences and how change happens, which she relates to program design, capacity development and evaluations. Deborah has taught this program in Darwin and Melbourne in previous years and participants have rated the course highly.