Knowledge Development and Evaluation Research Questions


There is a growing interest among people who commission evaluation (often funders of racial equity, community change or other similar work) in the use of evaluation for learning – either instead of or in addition to its use as a tool of accountability. This section includes examples of knowledge development frameworks and tools being developed in support of racial equity goals, as well as frameworks and tools that help groups identify research questions for accountability type evaluations.

In either instance (for knowledge development, e valuation or both), much of the upfront work has to do with crafting a set of questions to guide the work. One way to think about guiding questions is to look at the characteristics of ‘good’ outcomes (See Tip Sheet What is an Outcome and What is an Outcome Indicator). Like good outcomes, effective and useful guiding questions for evaluation or knowledge development should be meaningful (worth learning about), actionable (knowing the answer can improve the group’s practice or its results), measureable (answerable or knowable), reliable (multiple people looking at the guiding question can understand exactly what it is asking, in order to contribute to answering it), and able to reveal differences (explicit about race, racism and privilege in terms of how the question is framed and the information it will take to answer).




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