Brief Centering Racial Equity in Measurement and Evaluation
Leiha Edmonds, Clair Minson, Ananya Hariharan
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This brief explores how racial equity and inclusion can strengthen nonprofits’ measurement and evaluation work and how measurement and evaluation help nonprofits identify inequities and use data to improve the operationalization of REI practices. Nonprofit practitioners can align their measurement and evaluation framework with REI through five broad steps.

  1. Find your starting place: create internal processes.
  2. Align your measurement framework: assess programs, revise logic models, and refine indicators.
  3. Improve your tools: update data collection language and collection processes.
  4. Check your assumptions: address bias in data analysis, and bring in secondary data.
  5. Expand engagement and accountability: create staff and client feedback loops.

The five steps are not necessarily sequential. But because the topics are interdependent and overlapping, approaching them as a sequence can help with implementation. The sequence is predicated on an institutional commitment to use a racial equity lens throughout a nonprofit. The five steps are informed by the insights of practitioners working at the nexus of REI and nonprofit measurement and evaluation. Specifically, we draw on lessons learned through recent literature and conferences on the topics, several convenings that were held as part of the Measure4Change initiative and were focused on REI and performance measurement, and interviews with measurement and evaluation staff at Measure4Change member organizations centering REI within their measurement and evaluation work. These member organizations offer services that span housing, food access, health care, employment, and youth and adult education.

Research Areas Nonprofits and philanthropy
Tags Nonprofit data and statistics Foundations and philanthropy
Policy Centers Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Research Methods Performance measurement and management Community Engagement Resource Center