Toolkit For Staff

Cycles of reflection and renewal

Working directly with TWU staff, Amanda Flores of Florezca created this living toolkit to guide and resource internal evaluation efforts. The aim was to demystify the process and to create space for growth in practices over time and across programs. The toolkit includes information about the field of Indigenous Evaluation as well as TWU-specific protocols, practices and resources. We hope this will be a site that can be updated continually and provide support to TWU staff long into the future.

Example Evaluation Tool Templates

Example Process Spreadsheet

Kellogg Evaluation Toolkit

Evaluation Templates Folder

Essential Questions

  1. How can staff document success, identify areas for growth, and make informed, meaningful and supportive changes?
  2. How do TWU frameworks enact knowledge creation within evaluation at TWU?
  3. How are evaluation processes a form of collective care for staff and participants that encourage continued growth individually and collectively?
  4. When and how do we Identify what to measure/how to measure/how to analyze + share with the community?

Overview of TWU Frameworks

The frameworks developed by TWU Elders, staff and beloved community help to give shape and form to a field of energy that informs how we are being together through the programs. They offer a pathway to inform healing in and through community connection.
  • Relational-tivity
  • 2 World Butterfly Model
  • Opide
  • MHBS
  • Trauma Healing Rocks
  • Corn Model

Indigenous Approaches to Evaluation

“We have always done evaluation in a very decolonized way based on trust.” –Deborah Mytube Shipman, Chickasaw Nation, quoted in “Building the Sacred: An Indigenous Evaluation Framework for Programs Serving Native Survivors of Violence”

As Indigenous communities we have always engaged in processes of evaluation to sustain our cultures, lifeways and homes. Below are some of the common threads + values among Indigenous tribes and communities. These were compiled from research into Indigenous evaluation methods and existent practices at Tewa Women United. A link to the resources can be found [here].

  • Story/Story Sharing
  • Building Deep Relationships + Cultivating Trust
  • Intergenerational Insight: Perspective of Elders, Wisdomkeepers +Youth
  • Strengths Based
  • Connection to Land + Place
  • Sovereignty–Personal + Tribal
  • Non Linear
  • Community Engaged
  • Reciprocity + Knowledge Sharing
  • Indigenous Data Sovereignty
  • ?

How do these processes show up in your programs? How can they be highlighted and uplifted?

Designing the Evaluation Process

The evaluation cycle: catch the vision for indigenous evaluation.

Purpose

  1. What is the purpose of our evaluation?
  2. What is the goal of our evaluation?

Approach

  1. What information is needed to develop an understanding + direction?
  2. What is the intended direction that staff wants to move in?
  3. What information would staff like to gain from the evaluation process?

Methods and Tools

  1. What methods and tools are needed for the evaluation process?
  2. What learning and resources are needed to properly use these tools?

Implementation

  1. What processes of understanding and relating does this evaluation process require?
  2. What timeline and other documentation aids would be useful during implementation?

Analysis

  1. How do we make meaning in an inclusive way?
  2. How do we ground-truth our learnings?
  3. How do we share with community and co-create action steps?

More information on evaluation planning can be found on page 130 of The Kellogg Foundation’s Evaluation Toolkit.

Timelines + Seasonal Planning

Through Tewa values and culture, TWU has always worked to align programs with seasons and life cycles. Honoring the non-linear process of reflection, creativity and emergent understanding, how can staff collectively work toward cycles of reflection + evaluation that is directed by the cyclical nature of life? Below are some questions for frequency of different evaluation tools and methods.

Process Timing
Designate time for regular reflection + evaluation periods;

 

Integrating Loving Accountability

  • What types of reflection + evaluation need to take place on a daily, weekly,  monthly or yearly basis? 
  • What are the timelines of the evaluation processes? 
  • What are the timelines of programs and how does evaluation become integrated into those timelines?
Periodic analysis
  • How often does analysis of data need to take place within the phases of evaluation?
Identifying action steps
  • At what point are next steps identified based on the information learned from data + evaluation?

Evaluative Documentation

The Role of Documentation is to:

  1. Nurture the basis for staff collaboration, forward momentum and alignment of program processes.
  2. Tell the story of the programs, projects and communities that are a part of TWU.
  3. Understand the cycles of growth, reflection, impact within the life of programs/organization.
  4. Engage collective care for community by providing a way to capture and comprehend experiences (individually and collectively) and to share the documented impact and learnings.

“Evaluation, as storytelling, becomes both a way of understanding the content of our program as well as a methodology to learn from our story. By constantly reviewing our story, we enter into a spiral of reflection, learning from what we are doing and moving forward.”

-American Indian Higher Education Consortium Indigenous Evaluation Framework

1. Process Points- Documentation Baseline for TWU Wide Evaluation

Program Design Calendar Pre Event Outreach Attendance/ Sign In Sheets Debrief/ Follow Up
Role/Purpose of Program and Intended Goals Log events in calendar Share info + materials with Maia # of attendees Individual
Intended Community Reach Single event or recurring? Share info w/program partners demographics TWU team

TWU all staff

Connection + Alignment w/program area focus/goals Estimation of hours spent with program participants? Share internally w/TWU programs County With the community
TWU Values + Frameworks explored Choose time for debrief, documentation, Share w/ community Other information needed specific to program? With the external evaluator

 

2. Process Points–Documentation In Depth

Eval Tools Forms or Consent Needed? When Logged Where Form/ Template Links Next Steps Needed
Eval Baseline (Calendar, Sign Ins) Log events in calendar Share info + materials with Maia
Debriefs Template for debriefs At mid point and/or close of program cycles
Eval Questions/ Domains Example from A’Gin At start of program design
Photo/
Videos
Consent Form During programming upon the completion of consent forms
Surveys (Quantitative) Sometimes requires a consent form;

Inform participants of anonymity and how data will be stored and used

Pre or Post Surveys for programs
Informal Check in  (Qualitative) N/A
Circles, Focus Groups or Interviews
(Qualitative)
Consent Form

 

Overview of Tools/Methods for Data Collection + Documentation

Tool Purpose/Intention of Tool How To Use
4 Core Questions Debrief Bring awareness and understanding to the wholeness of experiences– from what went well and what we are learning Where is the joy?

What challenges are helping us grow? 

What did you learn? 

What did you love?

Archiving A system to maintain databases of data and previous documentation + evaluation findings Maintenance of program records, participant information and program history.

Contributes to a body of TWU specific data and and longitudinal data on program impact.

Communication Logs/Team Journals A log of communication between program partners or participants; a journal to maintain notes which can serve to track program formation and progress Template Links

  • Team Journal
  • Communication Logs
Consent + Confidentiality Practices Respecting privacy of participants through obtaining consent for interviews and use of information in evaluation process; maintaining the confidentiality of information shared both written and verbally. Links to:

  • Interview Consent Forms
  • Photo/Video Consent
Creative Assessments Collecting data and documenting programs through art, music, video, etc to capture the uniqueness of culture, identities, values and stories To provide multiple modes of engaging with data that creates space for deeper expression
Debrief Meetings + Inquiry Questions
  • Reflection
  • Data Collection
  • Feedback Loop
  • Set up a recurring time 
  • Create template of inquiry questions + a team journal google doc to capture notes 
  • Record conversations
  • Transcribe conversations 
  • Identify next steps and actions needed 
  • Develop timelines for action items 
  • Develop loving accountability process 
  • Store recordings and transcriptions in google drive folder
Formal + Informal Check Ins Frequent opportunities to keep communication channels open, show care, raise questions or concerns Communicating with staff, external partners, funders to listen to:

  • Ideas
  • Needs around workload
  • Celebrations
  • Potential challenges
  • Requests for support
Interviews 1:1 conversations with program participants, partners etc to honor relational-tivity and create safe and open spaces to connect deeply and share learning, feedback, insights Record w/permission, transcribe and archive
Other project documentation
Plus/Delta A tool to use in meetings or debriefs to understand what went well, what was learned, what needs to change To provide information on a more frequent basis about program needs, changes and insights learned
Reports To capture, summarize and present data

To share with communities and partners as part of a feedback loop

To gather data after the period of review and analysis into a coherent document that can make meaning and be shared with community, staff, funders, etc
Sign In Sheets +Attendance Logs Tracking participation, who is attending meetings and how many are in attendance Template Links

  • Attendance Sheets
  • Sign In Sheets
Story Mapping Mapping how stories are formed, the narrative, dreams, intended outcomes and key collaborators + participants Link to story mapping tool.
Surveys + Questionnaires A series of questions designed to develop understanding around themes + areas of inquiry Used to gather qualitative and quantitative data
Talking Circles + Focus Groups Group conversations based around connection and inquiry into experiences of TWU programs, community needs, etc. To build and strengthen community relationships, gather qualitative data on TWU and programs
Timelines Tracking project timelines in order to meet goals, meet community needs with consideration and to consider whole life cycle of projects and how to evaluate them within those cycles To create a flow of events and key points for gathering data, outreach, events, etc

 

Technology Tools for Data Collection

Each documentation and evaluation process is tied into at least one the online platforms below. To best keep track of data, photos, and reports, work with your program team to choose which platforms will best support your record keeping based on your evaluation needs.

Technology Purpose + Suggestions
Otter AI
  • Records and transcribes audio
  • Useful for capturing team meetings, interviews and talking circles
Google Suite
  • Tools for file and record keeping through google drive, docs, sheets, email, etc
Monday.com
  • Project management and task delegation
Photo Voice
  • Photovoice is a community-based and participatory qualitative research method that is frequently used as a community needs assessment (from Arts + Planning Tookit)
Gantt Charts
  • Organizes + illustrates a project schedule and assigns task to different team members 
  • Supports in tracking program planning, elements and activities
Spreadsheets
  • Mainly used to organize qualitative data 
  • Helpful in organizing responses from surveys, attendance, demographics, etc
  • Link to example process spreadsheet

 

Analysis: Creating Shared Understanding

For comprehensive suggestions on data analysis please refer to page 166 of the Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Toolkit.

  1. Periodic Analysis–Determine timelines of analyzing data.
  2. Qualitative Analysis– Qualitative analysis includes reviewing, coding and analyzing information from interviews, story circles and creative assessments. The overview in the Kellogg Evaluation Toolkit provides an information on how to code data, generate themes and generate questions to interpret the findings.
  3. Quantitative Analysis–Quantitative analysis includes reviewing data from sign in sheets, surveys, and other sources to review information as it relates to evaluation questions. The overview in the Kellogg Evaluation Toolkit provides tools to perform statistical analysis process with the numbers collected from data sources.
  4. Inclusive process-It’s important to develop creative ways to include everyone who is affected by the evaluation–staff, community, partners, etc. The lens with which you analyze is greatly affected by your lived experience.

Reciprocity: Sharing Data with Community

The aim of sharing data with community is making the information shared by participants available for their review, continue story sharing and continued sense of connection to TWU programs. There are many avenues to develop ongoing avenues of reciprocity through data sharing.

Feedback Loops

  • Ideas for built-in sharing with community: informal check ins during programs, social media questions + polls, creative visioning sessions to brainstorm with community, etc.
  • Create an opportunity to share evaluation findings with community in service to transparency, mutual growth and resource sharing.

Scenario example:

Host a gathering of program participants with a nourishing meal provided in one of TWU’s community spaces (the new property, healing foods oasis or another meaningful place of connection).

Provide multiple modalities for participants to engage with the data–e.g. Infographics, narrative reports, film, photography, artistic renderings, audio.

The key is to make the information accessible, easy to digest, and engaging to a wide range of learning styles

  • Ways to Share

Written and visual reports made available online or at TWU

Interactive presentations with communities

Sharing with program participants 1:1 or in small groups

How else?

  • Timing of Sharing

Check ins + formative assessments as programs progress

Sharing key findings + themes from completed evaluation processes

Determine at what points in programmatic calendar to check in and/or share back with community/participants

Glossary of Terms

Discussing these terms in small groups or by program area can help co-create a practical understanding of evaluation the TWU way

  • Indigenous Evaluation
  • Indigenous Data Sovereignty
  • Storysharing
  • Strengths based
  • Capacity building
  • Assessment
  • Methodology
  • Framework
  • Culturally Responsive Evaluation
  • Formative Assessment
  • Summative Assessment
  • Developmental Eval/Assessment
  • Mixed Methods
  • Evaluation Approach
  • Evaluation Philosophy
  • Data Gathering/Collection
  • Metaphor based practices
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
  • Theory of Change
  • Performance Measures
  • Program Fidelity
  • Metrics
  • Analysis

Appendix

  • Examples of Tools + Evaluation cycles from scholarly articles
  • TWU’s bibliography of resources related to Indigenous Evaluation