We’ve been working to develop what we call the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Evidence Matrix, a structured process for promoting and integrating a diversity, equity and inclusion framework into the evidence building activities of an organization. The framework was crafted based on feedback from practitioners and funders, and we’ve worked to integrate the Equitable Evaluation principles (along with other promising approaches). It’s a “scaffolding” of sorts for putting intention into action, helping organizations consider their current evidence building with a DEI lens and identify learning questions and next steps.

For example, social sector leaders and practitioners can integrate DEI considerations into general best practices for continuous evidence building and program improvement, including:

  • Fostering a learning culture: Support equal access to knowledge, learning and decision making across staff at all levels and demonstrate how staff, beneficiary and community feedback shape innovations, improvements and evidence building. All staff can learn from and act on evidence to improve outcomes.
  • Theory of Change: A theory of change is foundational for an organization’s outcome measurement strategy. En sure that your theory of change is informed by the needs and voices of beneficiaries, community members and staff with lived experiences similar to those you serve. And that assumptions underlying the theory of change are shared with them. Be willing to adjust the theory of change based on what you learn.
  • Collecting and analyzing data: Develop data collection tools and processes that are respectful and responsive to the needs of different groups. Collect disaggregated data to understand participation and outcomes by varying characteristics and address disparities, including race, ethnicity, gender, income level, among others. Check for potential bias in data sets and learning/research questions.
  • Sharing data and evidence: Data literacy varies widely, so developing visualizations and reports that make data user-friendly, culturally responsive and easily accessible can help staff at all levels and from all backgrounds engage with data and derive value from them.

Read the full article about diversity, equity, and inclusion by Charles E. Carter at GEO.