Tools for Change and Indigenous-led Measurement
Leading Our Own Movement
Tools for Change
Soft data-related tools can be used for assisting with movement; however many tools can stamp-out development. A proper set of instrumentations and measurement tools should focus on the documentation of relationships. Relationships are time-bound but not in the way that the-self can make any kind of changing alone; rather the relation of self is fully related to one’s out-outside world.
Nothing About Us, Without Us
In an Indigenous setting, dialogue is preferred over a rigid assessment. Paperwork is seen as a secondary measure, the first measure rests in a human to human dialogue process with substantial growth potential. The threat to evaluation is how these growth intervals can be measured. Institutions need to be careful they are not assessing individuals, individuals need the space to assess themselves, because only they know how best to conduct that measurement. Current evaluation practice dissects the self from the family and the community. The self is inseparable and asking Indigenous peoples to answer questions which are self-driven further damage their psyche and connections to the land and world around us.
Building-Up and Forward Movement
Poor education, poverty, inadequate housing, food insecurity and social isolation have been linked to long-term stress implicated in specific conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental-illness and suicide (Minore & Katt, 2007; White & Jodoin, 2007; Bombay, Matheson & Anisman, 2009; Mikkonen & Raphael, 2010). For example, a recent study finds that poverty (acute or long term) can impair one’s ability to make sound decisions (Mani, Mullainathan, Shafir & Zhao, 2013). Loppie, Reading and Wein (2009) point to a progressive nature in the perpetuation of the social determinants. For instance, poor housing is linked to domestic violence and injury.
A further layer of complexity in Indigenous evaluation are the difficulties associated with variability in the interpretation and definition of what seem to be basic and standardized terms through a Western perspective. Indigenous peoples view health as not merely the absence of disease, as is emphasized in bio-medical models, but as the balance and interconnectedness in health and well-being of spirit, mind, (emotion) and body with individual, (family), community and environment (Ootoova et al., 2001; Edge & McCallum, 2006).
This workshop provides you with a set of tools and methods which will change the way evaluation works. We will examine: 1) selecting the right indicators, 2) reasons why numbers should not drive decision-making, and 3) developing intervention-based tools.
Through the Course of this Workshop We Will Examine the Following:
Selecting the Right Indicators
There is a problem with current evaluation practice and few people are equipped to address the issues.
In current-practice evaluation logic models, indicators such as; “I felt supported”, “I felt the services were useful to me”, and “I feel more equipped to make decisions about any next steps”, are completely textbook driven. In particular, there is little time spent linking and/or demonstrating how indicators are linked to the literature and/or grey-literature. Further, in an Indigenous context there’s is a lack of appropriate literature for which links can be made to “success factors”. Indigenous definitions of many linkages and knowledge do not exist. This workshop seeks to open a dialogue about perceptions and experiences surrounding Indigenous encounters with program/service delivery, and provide examples of Indigenous indicators.
Numbers Can’t Drive Decision-Making
Number crunching and bean counting are not what drives effective Indigenous programs.
Success from an Indigenous perspective cannot be understood through western terms. A Cree Elder once told me that, “change takes at least 10 years, people need to experience their mistakes over and over before they are ready to let them go”. Relationships are what drive Indigenous peoples, not the number of relationships, not the number of clients, but rather the quality of the relationship. In the a review of child welfare services in First Nations, “Some agencies report that the amount of time and effort spent on reporting does not provide any return to the agency”. (AANDC, 2013). This workshop addresses these issues head-on by examining a specific set of tools and questions.
Developing Intervention-Based Tools
While utilizing evaluation tools that also act as interventions, certain controls become irrelevant.
The only tools that should be utilized are within an intervention approach – a theoretical foundation by which one can build methodologies and identify indicators for Indigenous evaluations. In the process of utilizing evaluation tools which also act as an intervention, maturation becomes unavoidable. Such evaluation tools include the sharing of cultural teachings and knowledge, and provide an experience that is less passive than a typical survey approach. Ideally integrated into program delivery, intervention-based exercises are rewarding because the stories are told in the participants’ own words. We will walk you through the implementation, analysis, and reporting of two major tools which act as interventions.
Who Should Attend and How You Will Benefit
What You Will Gain
- Begin a dialogue about perceptions and experiences surrounding Indigenous encounters with program delivery; and understand Indigenous indicators.
- Addresses western-measurement issues head-on by examining a specific set of Indigenous tools and sets of questions.
- A solid foundation of the implementation, analysis and reporting of two major tools which act as interventions.
What Comes with the Workshop
- The manual of Wearing an Indigenous Evaluation Lens (instantly downloadable).
- A reading list and links to the readings recommended for review ahead of workshop.
- A workbook of Tools for Change and Indigenous-led Measurement (given in the workshop).
- A set of tools which assist in tuning your Indigenous Evaluation Lens (in the workbook).
Who This Workshop is For
- Western taught / based evaluators.
- Program staff who work with Indigenous populations.
- Government staff and management who manage programs directed to Indigenous peoples.
- Non-government organizations who work with Indigenous peoples.
- Students who are interested in evaluation and expanding their knowledge-base.