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Research and development Evaluation Seminar

Social transformations with equity

In its first edition online, the International Evaluation Seminar was promoted by Itaú Social, Fundação Roberto Marinho, Laudes Foundation, Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal and GIFE – Group of Institutes, Foundations and Companies

Jara Dean-Coffey, a specialist in equitable evaluation, and Angela Dannemann, superintendent of Itaú Social, dialogue during the 15th International Evaluation Seminar: changing practices for the sake of equity. Image: Itaú Social’s YouTube channel

The 15th International Evaluation Seminar was held in September with live transmission for the first time. Altogether, there were five lectures and roundtable debates about the role of evaluation in the reduction of inequalities, especially in relation to social, economic, educational, health, gender, and race issues. The seminar enjoyed the participation of North American specialist Jara Dean-Coffey, known for incubating experiments about the concept of equitable evaluation. She is the founder of the Luminare Group and director of the Equitable Evaluation Initiative, which has been active for 25 years to increase the collective understanding about the relationship between values, contexts, strategy and evaluation, along with the shift in practices necessary for them to be at the service of equity. It is possible to see the material on Itaú Social’s YouTube channel. Some highlights follow.

Level of learning — with a PhD in statistics from the University of Wisconsin and a postdoctorate in education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Professor José Francisco Soares, a.k.a. Chico Soares, was one of the lecturers with the theme “How evaluations can reduce or exacerbate problems of inequality and exclusion in education.” He is responsible for the creation of the Educational Inequalities and Learning Indicator (IDeA), launched in June last year. For each Brazilian municipality, this indicator gauges the level of learning and the associated inequalities – between social groups defined by socioeconomic level, race or gender. See the interview with him.

Racism — Going beyond the discourse and beginning to actually apply antiracist practice is the main route for confronting racial discrimination. This is, in short, the recommendation of Walquíria Tibúrcio, a specialist in evaluation at Move Social, a consultancy that supports organizations in the enlargement and upgrading of social and socioenvironmental impacts. In this interview, Walquíria explains the institution’s role in the construction of the black population’s “collective imaginary of future possibilities.” The specialist reminds us that it is up to the companies, schools and third-sector organizations to confront institutional racism, and calls attention to the historical period in which we live.

Collective activism — A degree holder in public management and PhD candidate in social sciences, K.K. Verdade is the executive coordinator of Fundo ELAS, an organization which for 20 years has supported the advance of women in Brazil. Its main work is to form partnerships and to mobilize resources in Brazil and abroad to strengthen projects aimed at preventing violence against women, at the development of economic autonomy, and at ethnic and racial equity. With a dozen institutional investors and individual donors, Fundo ELAS supports about 90 institutions per year. At the seminar, she participated in a debate on the theme “Equity and evaluation in the Brazilian and American third sector.” The conversation can be accessed by way of the link at the end of this interview.

Vulnerability — The rights of workers are in the focus of the work of Mariana Xavier, manager of the program in rights and work of Laudes Foundation in Brazil. With a degree in international relations from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais (PUC-MG) and an MA in conflicts, development and construction of peace from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, Mariana identifies potential partners, organizations, projects and initiatives that can be supported by the foundation, with the aim of strengthening groups in situations of vulnerability, as she explains in this interview.