A Tool to Support Culturally Responsive Evaluation Planning in Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Programs

Deana Around Him*, Rachel Powell*, Lindsay Anderson**, and Sydney Briggs**

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Evaluation is a process that involves the systematic collection, analysis, and use of information to understand and improve the effectiveness of a program’s services and activities. Culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) is a framework that aligns evaluation efforts with a program’s values, beliefs, and context. CRE helps ensure that evaluation results accurately reflect how the program’s services and activities support the achievement of relevant outcomes for the intended population.

CRE can help account for the variety of populations served and the outcomes of interest to healthy marriage and relationship education (HMRE) programs by engaging a range of perspectives in the evaluation process. HMRE evaluation teams composed of program staff, external evaluators, program participants, and community members can apply the CRE framework to inform the design and implementation of evaluations in various contexts to strengthen the relevance, trustworthiness, and, ultimately, the usefulness of evaluation findings.

This worksheet provides HMRE evaluation teams with a brief explanation of and guiding questions for each step in the CRE framework (Figure 1). As evaluation team members discuss the guiding questions, they can use the Notes sections to begin documenting key considerations for implementing each step.

See this corresponding brief for an overview of the foundational concepts of CRE, a description of why these concepts matter for HMRE programming and evaluation, a discussion of how CRE can be applied in HMRE program evaluations, and more information about other evaluation approaches that complement a CRE approach.

* Equally contributing authors
** Equally contributing authors

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