This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Conference registrations have closed | Presenter and chair briefing notes and other information available here.
Self-guided historical walking tours: These walking tours are accessed via the Sydney Culture Walks app and highlight Aboriginal history, heritage & culture: https://www.sydneyculturewalksapp.com/barani-redfern 
Back To Schedule
Wednesday, September 18 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Disrupting power dynamics and bringing diverse voices to evaluation

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
Jade Maloney (ARTD), Emma Bedwin (NSW Fair Trading)

As evaluators, we need not only technical competencies, but the capacity to understand macro- and micro-politics, power dynamics and competing perspectives on what is of value and whose values count.

When we work with communities identified as 'vulnerable', we need to be particularly conscious of how past policies and ongoing practice can limit people's confidence to voice their perspective.
But it is not only when working with 'vulnerable' communities that we must be conscious of power dynamics. There are also power dynamics at play when working with program staff who are unfamiliar with evaluation theory and practice, and who fear evaluation and how it will be used by decision-makers.

There is another layer to the dynamic when an external funder is involved. The funder can set evaluation terms of reference and have a dominant voice in setting the parameters for what is valued.
If we are to recognise the rights of people with lived experience to shape the policies and programs that affect their lives, and recognise practice knowledge (which is often discounted in research literature), we need to find ways to recognise, navigate and disrupt power relationships.

We will use a series of creative techniques to enable evaluators to first embody the power dynamics involved in several evaluation scenarios and how these could be disrupted. As a group we will then explore what we as evaluators can and have done to:
  • influence who is at the table in evaluation
  • welcome and give space to diverse voices
  • balance competing perspectives.

To facilitate the conversation, we draw on a case study evaluation of a co-designed, co-delivered community engagement program, delivered in partnership between government, community organisations and people with intellectual disability, people with psychosocial disability, and people with disabilities from Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
The principles and ideas from the session will be collated in a final closing the circle discussion and distributed to interested AES members.

avatar for Karen Fisher

Karen Fisher

Professor, Social Policy Research Centre UNSW
I conduct research and evaluation about disability and mental health policy in Australia and China. I use inclusive methods with people with disability, families and other stakeholders. I am enjoying extending that to film, photos and other accessible methods to ensure the evaluations... Read More →

avatar for Jade Maloney

Jade Maloney

Partner & Managing Director, ARTD Consultants
I work with government agencies, not-for-profits and citizens to co-design, refine, communicate and evaluate social policies, regulatory systems and programs. I am passionate about ensuring citizens have a voice in shaping the policies that affect their lives, translating research... Read More →

Wednesday September 18, 2019 1:30pm - 2:30pm AEST