Last updated June 4, 2021.
This page includes responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network and the Network’s membership application. Applicants are encouraged to review this page before beginning their application for Network membership.
You are invited to send any questions not included in the FAQ to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow up to two (2) business days for response. The Expanding the Bench® (ETB) Team is not available to help with the actual writing or critiques of applications, but can answer general questions about the process and requirements. The FAQ page will be updated within five (5) business days of receiving any new/additional questions.
More information about the membership application, including submission requirements and deadlines, is available on the Become a Member page.
What is the ACE Evaluation Network?
The Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network is a growing community of racially and ethnically diverse evaluators who have experience in and a strong commitment to the practice of culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE). The Network is actively contributing to the system of change efforts central to the Expanding the Bench® (ETB) initiative. This is done by creating opportunities to build relationships between Network Members, Funders of Evaluation, and other producers and consumers of evaluation — all while supporting new and different approaches to hiring for and conducting evaluations.
Where can I find more information about the ACE Evaluation Network?
Please visit the About the Network page on the ETB website.
What are the benefits of becoming an ACE Evaluation Network Member?
In addition to free membership, benefits of joining the ACE Evaluation Network, include ALL of the below for as long as you practice evaluation:
- Access to evaluation funding and career opportunities, sometimes on an early or exclusive basis.
- Promotion of your evaluation experience and expertise through the ACE Evaluation Network Database, as well as ETB’s e-newsletters and social media sites.
- Peer connections with other evaluators who practice CREE.
- Professional development and community-building activities (virtual and in-person) with Funders of Evaluation, Evaluation Partners, and other Network Members.
- Expanded work portfolio that may include contributions to ETB recruitment and product-development efforts and/or serving as a mentor or advisor for the Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Program.
What are the Network’s Guiding Principles?
Guiding Principles for ACE Evaluation Network Members include:
- Annually update/maintain the ACE Evaluation Network Database profile (as applicable), including contact information. ETB will send out an annual email reminder to do this.
- To the best of one’s ability, attend all Network activities for which you are registered.
- If contacted by a potential funder or evaluation partner about a new opportunity, follow-up with them within five (5) business days regardless of your availability to pursue the work.
- Refrain from sharing opportunities designated as exclusive to Network Members with anyone who is not a Network Member or Affiliate (e.g., a colleague who works within the same organization as you).
- Engage in relationship-building that promotes a CREE approach to evaluation.
- Respond to ETB’s requests for feedback and surveys about your use of the database, interactions with Network Members, Funders of Evaluation, and Network activities (as applicable).
Why the requirement to refrain from sharing opportunities with those outside the ACE Evaluation Network?
Some of the opportunities Funders of Evaluation and Evaluation Partners share with the ACE Evaluation Network have been designated as exclusive, meaning they are only open to Network Members. As such, we ask that these opportunities not be shared with anyone outside of the Network. Other opportunities shared by the Network that are not designated as exclusive are appropriate to share.
Is there a fee to participate?
There is no cost to join the ACE Evaluation Network or for Members to participate in Network events. Travel costs to the in-person events, however, are not covered by the Network.
Who should apply?
The Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network invites experienced evaluators to join this community of diverse professionals. The Network is committed to helping create and increase equitable opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse evaluators, as well as to ensuring a membership base rooted in culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE). To join the ACE Evaluation Network, one must meet ALL of the following membership criteria:
- Identify as a racially and/or ethnically diverse evaluator. At this time, the Network is NOT accepting applications from evaluators who identify solely as white of European or European-American descent.
- Reside within a United States (US) state or territory, or on sovereign tribal land within US borders. The Network is not currently accepting applications from evaluators who live outside of US states or territories, or who live on tribal land outside of US borders.
- Seven (7) or more years of paid evaluation experience, including work in a key/lead role (e.g., Principal Investigator, Project Director, Project Lead) on at least three (3) evaluation projects. Evaluation capacity building experience counts toward the seven-year minimum, so long as you have been in a key/lead role with this work. Research experience does NOT count toward this minimum.
- Knowledge and practice of CREE.
- High-quality writing and reporting skills, including the ability to communicate evaluation processes and findings to multiple audiences.
ETB encourages eligible graduates of the Leaders in Equitable Evaluation and Diversity (LEEAD) Program, the Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program, and others to apply!
Are there any educational requirements for the ACE Evaluation Network?
Network applicants are not required to have formal evaluation education or training. We recognize that evaluators enter into the field through different experiences, and believe the lived experience evaluators bring to their work, including the experience they’ve gained through both formal and informal means, offer great value to the field.
Can an evaluation firm apply to the ACE Evaluation Network?
No. ACE Evaluation Network membership is individual. Membership does not belong to a collective group or organization, nor is it transferable to another person within an organization. There is space in the application and the ACE Evaluation Network Database profile to identify if the applicant works as part of a team and to share the skills/qualifications individual and/or the team offer.
Is the ACE Evaluation Network only for independent contractors or is it also open to individuals who are part of an evaluation team within a larger institution?
The ACE Evaluation Network is open to both independent contractors and those who are part of an evaluation team. Also, refer to the above response to the question, “Can an evaluation firm apply to the ACE Evaluation Network?” for more information.
What if I do not meet the membership criteria?
See the above response to, “Who should apply?” ETB is not accepting applications from evaluators who do not meet the Network’s current membership criteria. If you are not a member and identify as a Network Affiliate (i.e., employed by the same evaluation organization as a Network Member), you may be eligible to participate in some ETB opportunities. Please contact email@example.com with questions.
Does work experience in research, like Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), “count” toward the seven (7) year minimum? These are related/overlapping skill sets.
While we recognize there is some overlap of skills required for both research and evaluation work, for the purpose of Network membership ETB does not count research toward the seven (7) year minimum of paid evaluation experience.
Can I include doctoral and/or dissertation work as part of my “paid” experience? I was paid for that work and also received grants to support it.
We certainly recognize that many professionals are both in school and are also practitioners of evaluation. If you feel you are able to demonstrate that you meet the membership criteria, please do apply.
Can I count my evaluation trainings and capacity-building (paid) work towards my 7 years of experience?
If the work involves evaluation and is paid, then yes, you are able to count those years worked toward the membership criteria.
Regarding the number of years of paid experience, must they be consecutive?
Your seven (7) or more years of paid evaluation experience do not need to be consecutive.
I have been paid to do evaluation work dating back over 7+ years. However, evaluation did not make up 100% of my work during that period, and was dependent on my role and project demand. Is the minimum of 7 years of paid experience referring to working purely on evaluation?
The seven (7) year requirement is cumulative, so if you believe you have at least seven years of paid evaluation work experience and you meet the other criteria for membership (see the Become a Member webpage for more information), then you are eligible to apply.
I meet all the eligibility requirements, but I do not have seven years of paid evaluation work yet. Do I still qualify?
Due to the Network’s focus on lifting the visibility and building the skill sets of seasoned evaluators, you unfortunately would not qualify to be a member of the ACE Evaluation Network if you do not have seven (7) years of paid evaluation work experience. However, you may qualify to apply to be a LEEAD Scholar. If you have already served as a LEEAD Scholar, or do not qualify for the LEEAD Program, we highly encourage you to sign up for the ETB newsletter, Bench (Re)Marks, where you might find opportunities, offered through ETB’s field building work or allies.
What is the membership application?
The membership application is for seasoned evaluators who identify as part of a racially and/or ethnically diverse group and who are seeking a professional community of like-minded culturally responsive and equitable (CREE) practitioners. Visit the About the Network page to learn more.
The application process itself is web-based. Applicants are asked to offer detailed demographic information, a short biography, a CV/resume, a current work sample(s), and responses to questions regarding experience, achievements, and methodological and substantive competencies in evaluation. Please refer to the Become a Member page for more information.
Where can I apply for membership to the ACE Evaluation Network?
Please visit the Become a Member page for information about the application, including a link to apply online. If you are unable to respond to the online version of the application, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is the application due?
Starting in 2021, applications to the ACE Evaluation Network are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed approximately every six months. Applicants will be notified when their application is received, at which time ETB will share with them the evaluation timeline for their application. Acceptance decisions will be made in January and July each year. See the Become a Member page for more information.
Can I apply again if I am not accepted this time around?
If you are not accepted this time and you meet the Network’s membership criteria (see “Who should apply?” above), you are welcome to reapply. The ACE Evaluation Network has a rolling membership application cycle.
Regarding the 200-word biography in the application/member profile, what do you consider a “cultural introduction”?
Applicants are encouraged but not required to include a cultural introduction in their biography. Given ETB’s focus on culturally responsive and equitable evaluation (CREE), we believe one’s lived experience matters deeply and impacts how one connects to, relates to, and produces evaluation. For reference, the following is an example of a biography that includes a cultural introduction:
Rachele Espiritu, PhD, is a first generation immigrant and research psychologist who brings substantive experience in the areas of children’s behavioral health, behavioral health disparities and equity, cultural and linguistic competence, culturally responsive and equitable evaluation, workforce development, and systems change and collaboration. She is a founding partner with Change Matrix LLC, a minority- and women-owned small business that motivates, manages and measures change to support communities and systems that improve lives. Dr. Espiritu provides training, technical assistance, and capacity building in multiple systems, including mental health, substance use, public health, and education. She currently leads several national federal and foundation initiatives – including the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health, Expanding the Bench, and Empowerment Evaluation for The Colorado Trust’s Community Partnerships for Health Equity. Dr. Espiritu has successfully led culturally responsive and community-driven participatory process and outcome evaluations in the areas of health equity and disparities, culturally adapted programs, substance abuse prevention, mental health, and peer support services. Previously, she was a faculty member at Georgetown University (GU) and served as the Director of Evaluation for the GU Center for Child and Human Development. Dr. Espiritu obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology from University of Colorado at Boulder and currently lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenage sons.
I am unable to provide samples of some of my work because of client confidentiality or because these products are proprietary to the organizations I worked for. Upon filling out the application, the system would not allow me to move forward with the process without submitting a work sample. What can I do to enable me to complete the process?
One possibility is to remove or redact any identifying information (i.e., the name of the agency or client) from your work sample. If this is not an option, please contact email@example.com, and we will work with you to ensure you are able to submit a complete application for Network consideration.
I am returning to evaluation consulting work after a hiatus. How “current” must my work sample be?
You are welcome to submit your most current work sample. It may also be in your best interest to note on your application within the Project Description(s) field that you were on hiatus, to help explain and bridge any gaps in your profile.
How are Funders of Evaluation and Evaluation Partners connecting with ACE Evaluation Network Members?
Members have the option to display their profile on the ACE Evaluation Network’s Database (preference selected when applying). Registered Funders of Evaluation, Evaluation Partners, and Network Members have the ability to search the Database, and find evaluators that are the right fit for their evaluation needs. If and when they find an evaluator that fits their evaluation needs, a Funder of Evaluation or Evaluation Partner will contact the ACE Evaluation Network Member directly.
Who can I contact for further questions?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Is ETB, which includes the ACE Evaluation Network, a not-for-profit, 501c(3) organization?
Expanding the Bench® (ETB), including the ACE Evaluation Network, is led by Change Matrix (CM). CM is not a 501c(3). However, we work closely with a fiscal intermediary that serves in the 501(c)(3) role.
Does ETB have a relationship with the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and relevant Topical Interest Groups (TIGs)?
ETB has a formal relationship with AEA that allows both organizations to support the work of the other.