Better empowering constituants and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
Using data and insight to promote equity in the social sector
This characteristic is about the perspectives provided by monitoring, evaluation and learning—reframing who gets to define what is needed, what constitutes success, and what impact interventions are having. Who benefits from and controls what data is collected and how it is used? Explore more in this section of the Re-imagining Measurement toolkit.
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Better empowering constituents and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
If More Effectively Putting Decision-making at the Center is about the “why,” then Better empowering constituents and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is about the “who.” It is about reframing who gets to define what is needed, what constitutes success, and what impact we are having. It is also about data as an asset, and who gets to benefit from and control that asset. If we view constituents as active participants rather than passive recipients in any intervention, their ability to provide input and obtain access to data is inherently vital and valuable.
This characteristic brings together two important strands that are interconnected but not identical: a focus on constituent voice and an emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We bring these two strands together in the context of monitoring, evaluation, and learning because they support and reinforce each other. Enabling constituents to define what matters and what works is an important path to inclusion and equity. Using an equity lens in the creation of data and knowledge opens up possibilities for engaging and empowering all constituents.
A better future for empowering constituents and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion is one where:
Equity is consistently considered in and supported by MEL efforts
An equity lens is used for the process of monitoring, evaluation, and learning, including the determination of what information is relevant and important. To support this goal, the evaluation field includes a substantial proportion of professionals drawn from the communities being served, and there are significant improvements in the cultural competence of evaluators. Further, MEL is used to promote equity, with equity articulated as an explicit goal. Organizations use asset framing and measure equity indicators to assess progress.
Constituent feedback is an essential practice
Nonprofits, with the financial support of funders, are expected to collect constituent feedback in a way that is systematic, comparable to other organizations, integrated into strategic decision-making, and useful to their constituents. There are more frequent, field-wide efforts to demonstrate and document the benefits of soliciting constituent voice, as well as the tangible drawbacks of excluding it.
Constituents are empowered to make their own choices
Communities have the power to influence the strategy and programming of the foundations and nonprofits with which they work. Foundations and nonprofits invest in communities, develop local capacity, and share information with constituents in a way that is useful for them. Monitoring, evaluation, and learning are used to foster a marketplace of choices driven by constituents’ preferences.
Data rights are secured
Foundations and nonprofits consistently acquire information in ethical ways and safeguard the data rights of constituents. To that end, digital data is collected with consent and stored securely. Data “rights language” that acknowledges the obligation to protect constituent data is widely adopted.
To learn more about better empowering constituents and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, including bright spots, opportunities, and calls to action, explore the PDF.