We are proud that one of our associates, Jenna van Draanen, has published an article on ‘Introducing Reflexivity to Evaluation Practice’ in the American Journal of Evaluation. The practice of reflexivity is something that we are actively exploring and employing in our evaluation and research work at Petten Consulting. We believe that it makes us more culturally competent and responsive to the complex needs of our clients. If you have access to scientific journals, please visit the Journal’s website and download the article.
Feel free to contact us with any questions. We’d love to hear what you think about the practice of reflexivity!
There is currently a paucity of literature in the field of evaluation regarding the practice of reflection and reflexivity and a lack of available tools to guide this practice—yet using a reflexive model can enhance evaluation practice. This paper focuses on the methods and results of a reflexive inquiry that was conducted during a participatory evaluation of a project targeting homelessness and mental health issues. I employed an action plan composed of a conceptual model, critical questions, and intended activities. The field notes made throughout the reflexive inquiry were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results clustered in categories of power and privilege, evaluation politics, the applicability of the action plan, and outcomes. In this case study, reflexivity increased my competence as an evaluation professional: The action plan helped maintain awareness of how my personal actions, thoughts, and personal values relate to broader evaluation values—and to identify incongruence. The results of the study uncovered hidden elements and heightened awareness of subtle dynamics requiring attention within the evaluation and created opportunities to challenge the influence of personal biases on the evaluation proceedings. This reflexive model allowed me to be a more responsive evaluator and can improve practice and professional development for other evaluators.