NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ800317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 58
ISSN: ISSN-1556-8180
Culturally Competent Evaluation for Aboriginal Communities: A Review of the Empirical Literature
Chouinard, Jill A.; Cousins, J. Bradley
Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, v4 n8 p40-57 Oct 2007
The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the current empirical literature on cross-cultural evaluation in Aboriginal communities, and to begin to address the recognized lack of critically engaged discussion about research on culturally competent evaluation. The term "Aboriginal" in this document refers to First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, these groups having indigenous cultural heritage in Canada. The authors believe that the empirical research on cross-cultural evaluations has sufficiently evolved as to warrant stock taking in the interest of informing ongoing research in this growing area. Four key areas provide focus for the review: (1) What is culturally competent evaluation? What are the benefits to such practices? (Why bother?) Why does culture matter? (2) What does a culturally competent evaluation in Aboriginal communities look like? What are the relevant findings? (3) What methodological practices have been found to be culturally relevant in Aboriginal communities? What evaluation approaches have been found to be most effective? and (4) What is missing in the literature? What gaps remain to be addressed? A key assumption guiding this review is the notion that culture is not a static and homogeneous entity, but a dynamic process in which beliefs and everyday practices are influenced by social transformation, social conflicts, and power relations. From a methodological perspective, all of the literature reviewed is in the form of case studies and narratives, written primarily from constructivist and social justice orientations. A lack of substantive discussion about epistemological issues was found, which potentially have both extrinsic and intrinsic manifestations in evaluations involving alternative ways of knowing and potential challenges to Western epistemological worldviews. The authors conclude that further epistemological discussion in cross-cultural research and evaluation, including possible relationships to notions of culture, for example, would help advance research in Aboriginal communities. (Contains 2 footnotes and 1 table.)
Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University. 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5237. Tel: 269-387-5895; Fax: 269-387-5923; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada