ChEW is a small organisation run by a Board of Trustees. We believe in being open and welcoming to all. The recent Black Lives Matters protests have spurred us to reflect on whether we, as a Board of Trustees, are acting in accordance with our principles to ensure ChEW promotes inclusion. We have also been informed by the calls to action of Charity So White: https://charitysowhite.org/our-calls-to-action and welcome the recent announcement from the NCVO on the measures they intend to take in response to their recent work on equity, diversity and inclusion.
As a point of principle, ChEW supports the Black Lives Matter protests. As a Board we are firm in our intention to embed anti-racism in our organisation and our activities. We recognise that we, like other organisations in the charity sector, have much work to do if we are to become anti-racist*. We recognise and acknowledge that, in not specifically addressing this earlier, we have been part of the problem.
This blog sets out the steps we will take over the coming months and beyond to achieve this aim across five aspects of our work.
In addition to this work, we will also be developing our broader diversity and inclusion strategy, and we will involve our members in this work over the coming year. We know that diversity strengthens our organisation and makes it more impactful for our members.
We do not claim that we will achieve our goals overnight, but we commit to learning, striving and making concrete change. The Board of Trustees will review this at each monthly board meeting and we will share an update with our members in December 2020. We invite you - our ChEW members - to challenge us, to hold us to account and to help us in this work.
1. Growing our network mindfully
As a network that offers membership primarily to organisations, ChEW does not monitor any characteristics of the individuals who attend our meetings or access our resources. However, we recognise that failing to collect this information means we fail to see patterns. As a board, we will review whether and how we should collect and use this information from individuals.
Furthermore, we will review representation in our membership from charities and other organisations led by members of groups of people who experience systemic discrimination. We will also review our marketing strategy to ensure that we are proactive in offering ChEW membership to these organisations.
2. Designing and curating our events, speakers, blogs and activities
As we continue to grow the network and our activities, we will seek to embed anti-racism in their design and implementation. This will be an ongoing effort, and its nature will vary across our activities.
A tangible change we can make is to ensure that the speakers who we invite to address our quarterly members meetings represent not only our membership but the charity sector and society at large. We can and must do better. We commit to i) creating opportunities for evaluation professionals and organisations-led by people who experience systematic discrimination to showcase their impact work to our network, ii) ensuring we do not convene all-white panels and iii) organising at least one event this year (2020-21) that explores the topic of race, ethnicity and methodological bias in evaluation.
3. Developing our sector
We recognise that, like many other sectors, the charity sector is institutionally racist. We believe that evaluation (and research more widely) is an area of charity work that is particularly lacking in ethnic diversity of workforce. We aspire, through our influencing work and peer-to-peer activities, to help to redress the imbalance.
In the short term, we will conduct a poll of our members to understand the make up of the charity evaluation sector. In the longer-term, we will seek to foster an honest conversation to understand barriers to jobs and to career development.
Through our partnership work, we will also increase our efforts to find, work with and support others working to eradicate structural and implicit racism from our sector.
4. Supporting and promoting anti-racist evaluation and impact practice
As well as organising specific events or panels we will seek to identify and share resources to support CHEW members to develop evaluation and impact practices that are not discriminatory. As a starter for ten, we have appreciated this reading list from the Equitable Evaluation Initiative, which explores and addresses all forms of discrimination and bias in evaluation: https://www.equitableeval.org/resources-pushing-thinking
We invite your recommendations and would love to hear about your experiences of designing explicitly anti-racist evaluations.
5. Our finances and operation
The Board of Trustees is responsible for designing and approving CHEW’s internal processes and for managing our finances. We will:
review our financial arrangements (e.g. where we hold our bank account) to ensure this is ethically invested. We will make every effort only to spend our money with suppliers and individuals who hold similar ethical values.
review our recruitment processes (e.g. how we advertise for any job openings and shortlist applications) to reduce the likelihood that we are biased in our practice.
publish profiles of all Trustees on our website
explore the value of signing up to the Charity Governance Code for Smaller Charities: https://www.charitygovernancecode.org/en/pdf
We are keen to hear what you, our members, think of our plan. You are welcome to share your thoughts in comments beneath this blog, by email to email@example.com or at one of our events. If you would like to help us with our work on diversity and inclusion, please get in touch – we will look forward to hearing from you.
*See for example the evidence of racism in the third sector described in ACEVO’s Home Truths report https://www.acevo.org.uk/reports/home-truths/, Charity’s Job’s survey about charity HR and recruitment https://charityjob.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/CharityJob-Diversity-Report-2018.pdf, and evidence from 2017 Charity Commission data about the lack of diversity on Trustee Boards: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/taken-on-trust-awareness-and-effectiveness-of-charity-trustees-in-england-and-wales