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Becoming a Trauma-Informed Evaluator: Seeing our work, our participants and each other through a new lens: previously recorded eStudy 104

Dr. Martha Brown, President, RJAE Consulting 

This eStudy will provide evaluators with an understanding of the causes and effects of individual and intergenerational trauma and will teach evaluators how to integrate the principles of trauma-informed care into their practice. Why should evaluators know about and care about trauma? Because it impacts every aspect of our society: it impacts how we do our work and it impacts how well we connect with each other and the communities in which we work. A trauma-informed lens is particularly important in participatory, empowerment and developmental evaluations, but is also applicable and necessary in evaluations relying on solely on surveys. In the first session, we will discuss how trauma, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), and intergenerational trauma change how the brain functions and how the body reacts. We will learn how childhood and intergenerational trauma impact the lives of adolescents and adults. We will learn how to identify various trauma-related behaviors and responses and how to integrate the five principles of trauma-informed care into our practice in order to avoid triggering shame or stress responses. In the second session, we will learn how empathy, voice and listening in our practice can facilitate healing, promote resilience, and empower our evaluation participants. We will explore specific trauma-informed evaluation practices including protocol design, data collection, and data analysis.

Participants will interact with each other by choosing 1-2 principles of trauma-informed practice, applying those principles specifically to their own practice, and sharing their examples with the group. After the final session, participants will receive the list of suggested trauma-informed evaluation practices generated by the group.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Explain how trauma and intergenerational trauma effects people and communities
  2. Display greater sensitivity and deeper understanding of the impacts of trauma
  3. Implement trauma-informed evaluation approaches that build connection and foster resiliency
Primary Audience:
All evaluators will benefit from a greater sensitivity to and a deeper understanding of trauma and its impacts. Evaluators need to understand that sometimes the questions we ask in online surveys or face-to-face could trigger stress/trauma responses in their participants. this affects the quality of the data and the validity of findings. One of the essential aspects of trauma-informed evaluation is to build trusting relationships and connections, and the principles of trauma informed care help evaluators do this.