Facebook Pixel

This week we’re sharing the experiences of Sally J. Laskey who has been using the DEF tools in a variety of projects working to end sexual abuse, assault, and harassment.

The organization Sally works for offers various online courses on violence prevention topics. After several of the staff attended the We All Count Data Equity Framework workshop, they organised a workgroup to assess and update their evaluation process for the online courses with a conscious focus on equity. The group started by engaging with resources from the DEF workshop as a discussion tool

Originally, the evaluation process included an initial online survey and a three month post-course follow-up survey. The team felt that the surveys were lengthy, time consuming and had low levels of response.

Using the DEF tools, with their clear steps and examples, the workgroup refined their evaluation questions and methodology and increased their level of awareness of equity issues in the evaluation. Sally says: “We realised we had only considered equity in terms of technological accessibility in the original surveys, and we had been asking people questions about things that we didn’t have the funding or power to change about our courses.”

Great idea: Form a working group.

We really love the way that Sally created a purpose-driven group to engage with some of the new ideas in relation to their work. It expands the number of people using the approach while simultaneously keeping the concepts fresh instead of fading into theory instead of practice where we think they belong. We’re going to start recommending working groups as a great first step after a training. Thanks, Sally!

The workgroup spent a lot of time discussing the collection of demographic data and switched from specific demographic questions to open-ended ones, such as “Please describe ways in which this and future courses could be improved to be more relevant to communities you represent and serve.”

Sally and her team also used the DEF tools to inspire their work on a National Needs and Strengths Assessment with violence prevention grantees. The assessment was last conducted ten years ago and needed updating before implementation. It includes information on prevention capacity, evaluation capacity and the impact of COVID-19. The team used the assessment to show changes in capacity within the grant program, as well as as a baseline for evaluating training and technical assistance efforts for a new grant cycle.

The workshops staff attended on the Data Equity Framework informed how they operationalized ideas that centered equity and anti-racism work as central to violence prevention efforts and put a high value on participatory evaluation practices. The DEF framework helped them to frame anti-racism and health equity work in systematic (and behavioral) ways and resulted in a redesign of the survey instrument.

Sally is also involved in a capacity-building project on data equity where they facilitate an evaluation community of practice for those evaluating violence prevention programs. The team conducted outreach to the community to encourage them to attend We All Count founder Heather Krause’s webinar How Not To Use Data Like a Racist, then organized a debriefing session to discuss the webinar and how to apply it to their work.

Sally says the webinar was helpful in starting a discussion within their Community of Practice (COP) and identifying challenges with what is considered “evidence” by funders. However, several people in the COP felt that the webinar didn’t honor and address Indigenous evaluation practices and data sovereignty.

In response to this feedback, Sally and Heather released a follow-up podcast, Data Equity Makes Sure We All Count, where they talk about these issues and Sally also released a podcast with an Indigenous member of their grantee group to discuss how they use Indigenous values in their evaluation process.