Cultural competence is the ability to possess sensitivity to and understanding of the cultural values of individuals and groups. Culture can be described as the socially transmitted pattern of beliefs, values, and actions shared by groups of people.
Culture may affect everything from how a person with limited English proficiency is able to understand and access consent forms, the appropriateness of survey or interview questions, to the format and context in which data and results are presented.
Cultural competence in evaluation is an essential competency that allows an evaluator to demonstrate an understanding of and sensitivity to cultural values. This ensures that an evaluation is respectful and responsive to those involved. Cultural competence helps you work effectively in cross-cultural settings.
A culturally competent perspective can promote effective collaboration. It can also ensure that cultural competency is integrated into the entire evaluation process from choosing the methodology, selecting the right surveys or data collection tools, to reporting the data and findings.
Things to consider in building a cultural competent evaluation process:
You may want to explore established standards for providing services in a culturally competent manner. The guidelines summarized below were developed by the Office of Minority Health
To be culturally competent, a person should:
Self-reflection or self-assessment can be a useful starting point and ongoing activity to help build your cultural competence. Completing this type of reflection or assessment should be considered a strengths-based activity. Building knowledge of our own assumptions, perceptions, and understandings of other cultures can assist us in becoming responsive to different cultural perspectives.
Self-Assessment can help an individual or organization assess how effectively they are providing services to diverse groups, establish meaningful partnerships with communities and stakeholders, and identify areas for training and growth.
There are different kinds of personal reflections and self-assessments available for cultural competence.
Click Here for an example of a checklist assessment of cultural competence from the National Center for Cultural Competence.
Click Here for an example of a personal reflection on cultural competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.