The Value of the ACE Evaluation Network: Through the Eyes of an Evaluator
This guest blog post is written by Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha President and Founder, Amaka Consulting and Evaluation Services
I am very grateful to Expanding the Bench (ETB) and the connections I have been able to make through the Advancing Culturally-responsive and Equitable (ACE) Evaluation Network. Amaka Consulting and Evaluation Services (ACES) is a minority women-led firm that views every project engagement as an opportunity for collaborative client-centered learning and results-focused strategies. ACES’ research and evaluation professionals have a passion for finding creative and pragmatic ways to address complex social problems.
Thanks to the ACE Evaluation Network Database, I was introduced to Dr. Christine Baker Mitton, Director of Knowledge and Learning from Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland (SOCF). ACES has been contracted by SOCF to evaluate their Cleveland Central Promise Neighborhood Ambassador Program.
Building quality relationships and sustaining trust lies at the heart of our firm’s values. We achieve trust by working with our clients as thought partners with whom we collaborate and brainstorm to produce superior results. Through our work with the SOCF, we have been able to work directly with Promise Ambassadors to lead the evaluation plan, provide feedback and input to improve the evaluation plan, share expertise in developing data collection materials, and develop the data analysis framework. The results of the evaluation will be completed in June 2021 and are sure to have an immediate impact on the members of the Central Promise Neighborhood.
It has been a pleasure to work with Christine, Richaun Button, and the SOCF team so far. We have found that our engagement with this team is one of mutual respect, trust, and humility. This project evaluation has shown us that building open communication and trust with the community starts with transparency and ends with integrity. I am grateful to ETB and the ACE Network for helping me foster these connections.