Eyes on the Prize: Multicultural Validity and Evaluation Theory

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68 Scopus citations


Examining evaluation theory in cultural context is an important component of evaluating theory; however, it is not the ultimate goal. The foundational element in good evaluation is validity, and appreciating the cultural location of evaluation theory is an important building block in the argument supporting multicultural validity. Multicultural validity requires congruence between theory and context. This article first addresses validity as the foundational aspiration of all evaluation, then moves to a succinct discussion of culture. Suggestions for reflecting on the cultural location of evaluation theory and cultural dimensions of context are described, illustrated by three different approaches to establishing cultural congruence-Indigenous Evaluation Framework (IEF), Talent Development (TD) Model, and Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE). Closing comments return to validity as the fundamental prize and to the centrality of culture in supporting it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-413
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • context
  • culture
  • evaluation theory
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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