The Power of Perspective
Generations of Evaluators
The Power of Perspective is part of The May 13 Group, in partnership with the American Evaluation Association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Working Group. A multi-part, interactive installation, it honors pivotal, yet often obscured, evaluation scholar-practitioners. These leaders shaped evaluation’s journey to understand and change persistent patterns of inequity in, through, and around evaluation—particularly on the basis of classifications of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability status, and other dimensions. We invite you to join the journey and put yourself and your people on the map!
Your milestones and dreams will shape the AEA DEI Working Group’s efforts.
Co-create evaluation’s DEI history and share your dreams for its future!
We use the metaphor of an iceberg to illustrate how broader societal movements and world events, evaluation and related fields, and our own personal and community experiences relate to each other. Our personal experience breaks through the water’s surface. What remains submerged from view are the deeper undercurrents.
To remind us that we are not alone, we profile select evaluation scholar-practitioners who shaped evaluation’s journey toward understanding and changing persistent patterns of inequity.
We have a lineage of intellectual ancestors from the first half of the American Evaluation Association’s life and will continue to add profiles.
Inevitably partial, the timeline and profiles are a call awaiting your response.
To democratize evaluation’s narrative, a crowd-sourced People’s History of Evaluation allows each of us to tie our personal and community experiences to something bigger than our individual selves.
The Power of Perspective is one step in a different direction, but it is far from a summative solution to ongoing patterns of exclusion, exploitation, silencing, co-optation, erasure, and punishment in evaluation.
The dissertation research (Shanker, 2019) that the timeline and profile content draws from uses an intersectional lens to examine the portrayal of race in peer-reviewed evaluation literature from its formalization in the late 1960s through 2017. It did not examine literature focused on educational research and assessment or evaluation of public health or international development efforts.
As part of the efforts of AEA’s DEI Working Group and for this installation, supplementary research was supported by Mesq’al Kebra to add milestones in evaluation’s portrayal of race from 2017 to 2022.
Beyond updating milestones in the portrayal of race through 2022, primary and secondary research was conducted to add milestones in areas not examined directly in the dissertation—regarding gender, sexuality, disability, language, international aid, and the environment—including pivotal events like the establishment of various Topical Interest Groups since the field’s formalization. Additional content was contributed by session participants at Eval Reimagined 21.
In the interest of space, we listed the editors of topical anthologies without necessarily listing each contributing author’s work and we listed first authors alone when space was tight.
Commitment to Accessibility & Intersectional Justice
We are aware of and take responsibility for (de)limitations in the timelines’ content as well as the print format’s availability in written Standard American English. Access to all content in the live installation is available in screen-readable format and in multiple languages on this site.
This website uses Google auto translations to provide the widest level of access possible. The site will change the language offered based on the language settings on your web browser. There is also a drop-down menu at the top of the page that you can use to change the language at anytime. We are working to improve the quality of the translations and accessibility through human intervention. Should you encounter any issues with language or accessibility, please email them to [email protected].