This article appeared in Philanthropy News Digest on May 28, 2019
Evaluations and research projects intended to increase programmatic impact must be designed to address the unequal power dynamic between community organizations, researchers, and funders, a publication from impact investor Chicago Beyond argues.
Based on lessons learned by Chicago Beyond, the guide, Why Am I Always Being Researched? (112 pages, PDF), outlines ways to address inequities in seven areas — community access to conversations around the research; sharing of information about research options, methods, inputs, costs, benefits, and risks; validation of the expertise of community organizations and community members; community ownership of the research process; analysis of the value generated by the research, for whom, and at what cost; the accountability of researchers and funders; and full community representation and authorship of the narrative.
The report offers separate recommendations for community organizations, researchers, and funders to ensure equity at every stage of the research project, including designing and planning the study, recruitment of participants, implementation, working to improve the lives of participants, and sharing the findings of the research.
Read more here.