Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

David Hartmann, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Leslie Goodyear, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Brandon Youker, Ph.D.


CRE, culturally responsive evaluation, culture, evaluation, philosophy, practice


This three-study dissertation investigated the various aspects of culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) from the perspectives of scholars and practitioners.

The first study investigated CRE scholars’ philosophical stance on CRE through one-on-one interviews. The 14 scholars shared how their lived experiences motivated them to write about CRE. They noted the flexibility of CRE as a complement to other evaluation approaches. The interviewees reported several essential qualities of CRE practitioners. This study highlights the scholars’ commitment to serving marginalized communities as their ontological superordinate theme.

The second study investigated how practitioners applied the CRE lens in their practice. This study confirmed the importance of understanding and integrating elements of community culture and context while conducting evaluation. In this study, 16 evaluators shared their insights through one-on-one interviews. They shared their rationale for practicing CRE, and its successes and challenges while practicing evaluation. The practitioners chose CRE to promote social justice to serve marginalized communities and mend distrust between evaluators and the communities within which they work. The interviewees hoped their CRE practice would encourage other evaluators to investigate power and culture in their practices.

The third study focused on if and how the authors of evaluation reports integrated the nine components of Kirkhart’s (2013) Culture Checklist. This study used a document review technique to identify the presence of the Culture Checklist’s nine components from evaluation reports. While this study indicated that it is possible to follow the components of the Culture Checklist in evaluation reports, the checklist is more suitable as a practice guide. Additional findings also indicated that the checklist could be updated or truncated into categories as most of the nine components are related to one another.

The findings of the first and second studies are not generalizable since there is no way to interview every CRE scholar and practitioner. The third study is an exploratory study investigating if the Culture Checklist is a viable checklist to guide evaluation report writing. However, similar to the first two studies, the third study also had a small sample size, requiring further investigation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access