A Roadmap For Collaborative and Effective Evaluation in Tribal Communities

Jul 2016

From Child Welfare Research & Evaluation Trival Workgroup: Many Tribal* communities feel the impact of intergenerational trauma as a result of the experiences of prior generations exposed to adverse and devastating events and conditions. Tribal communities can recount negative experiences that have created a distrust of research and evaluation. Evaluation activities have generally been imposed on Native communities by funding agencies that view evaluation from the dominant cultural paradigm. These approaches often failed to recognize the sovereignty of Tribes and to take advantage of long traditions of successful evaluation strategies that draw on indigenous practice. Research was often invasive and offered little benefit to the community. In some cases, research actually harmed and exploited Native culture and ignored community rights. These experiences have contributed to a fear of evaluation in Tribal communities – fear of doing an evaluation and fear of being evaluated. Evaluation efforts are often met with fearful reluctance or outright refusal. To address these challenges with respect to child welfare, the Children’s Bureau formed a workgroup comprising representatives from Tribal child welfare programs, evaluators, university researchers, technical assistance providers, and Federal program partners. The workgroup developed this Roadmap for Co-Creating Collaborative & Effective Evaluation To Improve Tribal Child Welfare Programs. This tool can be used to create a shared vision for the future of Tribal child welfare evaluation and provide a common language for Tribal communities and evaluators as they improve evaluation practice.

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