Culture can influence many elements of the evaluation process, including data collection, implementation of the evaluation plan, and interpretation of results. Tools used to collect data (e.g., surveys, interviews) need to be sensitive to differences in culture—both in terms of the language used and the concepts being measured.
When selecting evaluation methods and designing evaluation instruments, you should consider the cultural contexts of the communities in which the intervention will be conducted. Here are some guiding questions to consider:
- Are your data collection methods relevant and culturally sensitive to the population being evaluated?
- Have you considered how different methods may or may not work in various cultures?
- Have you explored how different groups prefer to share information (e.g., orally, in writing, one on one, in groups, through the arts)?
- Do the instruments consider potential language barriers that may inhibit some people from understanding the evaluation questions?
- Do the instruments consider the cultural context of the respondents?
Read more about cultural competence.