With Tehseen Noorani, I am developing the concept of radical evaluations (RE) – a term we use to describe evaluations that are committed to collective liberation, to uprooting oppressive power structures in their processes as well their products. RE are where transformative evaluations meet decolonial, disability and feminist theory.
RE are both grounded (in social movements, in critical theory, in wisdom traditions) and experimenting (through practices that are reflexive, imaginative and nimble). It is this praxis that enable RE to be response/able within current political conditions. And it is this praxis that RE ultimately aim to activate in evaluatees in order to facilitate evaluatees’ own commitments to collective liberation.
Unlike standard evaluations, RE are therefore accountable not to the evaluatee per se so much as those who are fighting for collective liberation.
In RE, both processes and products
- situate evaluatees in their historical, social and political context
- engage critical theory
- consider non-human as well as human stakeholders
- prioritise the expertise of the marginalised
- value embodied and inspirited knowledges as much as the rational
- beckon and host imagination
- are rhizomatic (non-hierarchical, non-linear, multi-modal)
- activate reflexivity and
- contribute to social movements
This work is a response to Frantz Fanon’s call for a Psychology that commits to transforming the world, not knowing it; to revolution, not description; to creating possibilities, not exhausting them.
It has emerged from our involvement in over a dozen evaluations in New York City, Washington DC, London and Bristol, including through our leadership of a final year module – ‘Praxis’ – for Clinical and Community Psychology students at the University of East London.