This resources page has been collated as a follow-up to the webinar “A Vision for Indigenous Evaluation: A framework for increasing participation and control by Indigenous peoples” presented on 12 July 2016 by expert evaluator Nan Wehipeihana and Dr. Chelsea Grootveld.
We understand that the sound quality in our recording of the webinar is poor in some parts. If you are having difficulty hearing Nan’s kōrero, she has kindly provided us with her script for this webinar, which can be viewed in full here: 160712 CR Webinar Vision for Indigenous Evaluation WEHIPEIHANA.
There was such good kōrero and so many questions from the audience that we didn’t have time to answer them all during the webinar! Nan and Chelsea took some time after the webinar to write considered answers to those questions that we didn’t have time for, which we provide in the section below.
Who is this webinar for?
This webinar is for all community sector professionals working in New Zealand, and will be of particular interest to those working in research, partnerships and community.
By the end of this presentation participants will:
- Have an understanding of the principles of evaluation and research by, for and as indigenous peoples
- Learn a model of appropriate engagement for Māori
- Know why this is important for Māori, and for good outcomes
- Have an appreciation for cultural paradigms in evaluation and research
This is not only pertinent to social research, but any programme that will impact upon Māori values, wahi tapu and taonga.
Skilled in evaluation and research, Nan Wehipeihana has more than 15 years experience in designing, leading and managing evaluation and research projects. She has a wealth of public and private sector experience in broadcasting, education, employment, health, housing, justice, social development, social policy, sport and recreation, the arts and culture and heritage.
Nan is widely recognised for her adeptness in managing complex relationships in research, evaluation and policy settings. She is passionate about protecting, evidencing and growing the space to be Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand. Nan facilitates dialogue and engagement that builds understanding of Māori. For clients, Nan offers access and insight into Māori views and values for use in government, business and community contexts. She has a strong track record in policy and programme evaluation, using mixed methods in evaluation, organisational capacity and capability development and extensive evaluation training experience. The development of culturally based evaluation outcome frameworks is a particular area of expertise. Nan’s tribal affiliations are to Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou and Te Whānau-ā-Apanui.
Dr Chelsea Grootveld has worked in education policy, research and evaluation for the past 15 years.
She is Director of Aiko Consultants Limited and is currently working with a team of kaupapa Māori centred evaluators on a formative evaluation of Te Pūtahitanga, the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for Te Waipounamu (South Island).
Questions & Answers
Q1: E tika ana koe e Dr Chelsea. When a funder, commissioning agent ranei locates the evaluation within a different world view/paradigm, what is the most effective way of articulating the findings that are positioned in a Māori worldview.
Chelsea: I think it is important to clearly state that the findings are positioned within a Māori world view and therefore may or may not “fit” into ascribed outcome frameworks or measures, and actually that this is okay, valid and robust. This is where negotiating the evaluation objectives, design and methodology are critical. Creating “methodological space” to look at the evaluation from a Māori worldview needs to happen upfront when framing and designing the evaluation.
Q2: A question for Nan and Chelsea – Nan’s model had an ‘invitational’ space for western models and/or non-Māori evaluators. Nan also talked a bit about non-Māori speaking up to other non-Māori. Should non-Māori really be engaged in indigenous evaluation?
Nan: My personal stance, and it is well known, is that I believe evaluation (and research and community development etc) with Māori should be led by Māori. What then is the role for non-Māori in evaluation, or is there a role for non-Māori. The short answer is, it depends. So possibly yes and possibly no. So assuming Māori are leading the evaluation – they would invite non-Māori into the evaluation when they have skills, expertise, networks etc that are of value or could contribute to the mahi. The point here being there is no assumption or presumed right of place on a project on in evaluation for non-Maori; the role for non-Māori if there is to be one is at the invitation of Māori (the invitational space on the map). When we as Māori invite non-Māori into these spaces then incumbent on us, is to ensure their wellbeing and to guide and support them in their engagement and interaction with our whānau.
Chelsea: I wholeheartedly agree with Nan. The involvement of non-Māori in indigenous evaluation and/or mātauranga Māori evaluation is wholly dependent on those driving and leading the evaluation.
Q3: What approach would you use when evaluating ‘kaupapa mau wairua?’
Nan: He whakaaro hōhunu tēnā. Ko te mea tuatahi, ko wai nga tohunga, me nga rōpū tino matatau i tenei kaupapa te mau wairua? Me haere au, me waea ki te korero ki a ratou. Me nohotahi, me korerotahi hei whakatakoto nga mahi, i mua i a mātou.
Chelsea: E tautoko ana ahau I ngā korero a Nan. Mā wai te tohunga hei tohutohu hei whakarangatira ai I tēnei kaupapa.
Q4: What other models beside the 5 Wai model do you use?
Nan: I think the work of Linda Smith (Decolonising Methodologies) and its adaption by Fiona Cram are valuable here. So consciously working through the kaupapa Māori principles and their application in evaluation (our practice and ways of working) is one framework I use. While it can be applied at all stages, I find it particularly valuable at the outset; at the design and planning stages. (See worked example below)
Chelsea: There is a plethora of kaupapa Māori models that we can draw on. I enjoy Leonie Pihama, Fiona Cram, Linda and Graham Smith’s work. I use the principles they talk about to guide my practice and how I engage in evaluation design, planning and all phases of the valuation. I’ve also used whakatauki from my own Iwi to inform my research design and practice for my doctoral thesis.
Q5: In an environment that is constructed with institutional racism (from the funder’s perspective), how do Māori frameworks match up with the funders’ perspective (a Western worldview)?
Nan: I think its important not to set up an oppositional argument. Western bad, Māori good. So working from a strength-based position I try to explain our frameworks (worldviews, practice) and why they are important for us, for Māori. This often includes trying to translate what we do and why we do it, into the non-Māori space, so they ‘get it’. Not sure I’m always highly successful at this. Then if possible speak back into their framework, worldviews etc. So rather then respond to an oppositional stance “go on convince me approach” which we can almost never win, I first like to see if they can cope with a duality – this works for us, that works for you; and then hopefully over time moving into a deeper understanding. Continues to be a work in progress.
Chelsea: Trying to unravel complex social issues and create transformation requires a range of theoretical frameworks, worldviews and tools. As Nan states, I agree that it is important to shift the focus to a strengths based conversation and look at what Māori frameworks can offer that is different and unique, which existing frameworks do not. I’m not sure if I do a good job of this myself as it is very easy to become frustrated and/or dejected. But this is our responsibility as evaluators, to use our nous and intellect to help shift the conversation. We might not shift entire institutions to think differently, but we can start by creating space for more meaningful conversations that value Māori approaches and knowledge. This is a constant challenge for us all.
Q6: How do we best engage whānau Māori who are disengaged from their own culture and chosen to be part of another culture? e.g. gangs?
Nan: I’m not sure. My own approach is to ask, am I the right person to be doing this work. Is there someone else who understands this ‘culture’ better then I do; who has networks, relationships and credibility in this space. So in all things, it is not to assume or presume that I have or should have an automatic right of passage to do the work. If I was to play role and its unlikely it would be a key leadership/engagement role, then I would look to find others in this field who would take the lead and guide me/us in this work.
Chelsea: Ask others in the community. How do I engage our gang whānau? Who should I be talking to? There will always be someone who knows someone who can point you in the right direction. As Nan said, it may be that you are not the right person to lead this work, but you may be involved in other ways.