The Developmental Evaluation Institute (DEI) provides pathways for new, emerging, and mid-career evaluators to develop skills in Developmental Evaluation for social justice.

The DEI reduces barriers to participation such as money, geography, language requirements, and other prerequisites that exclude under-represented communities, includes experiential learning, honors methods and modalities from the communities that will be evaluated, and is built around the people’s existing strengths, assets and competencies.

Our Mission


Our mission is to grow and nurture a global community of people committed to social justice and equity who can use and apply  developmental evaluation in ways that support and enhance innovation and systems change.

Our Vision

Our vision is a world in which developmental evaluation inspires and catalyzes community led social transformation.

Our Principles

Shared principles guide and direct collaboration and systems change, while framing personal and organizational engagement, interactions, and decision-making. The DE Institute's Guiding Principles are both the anchor and the North Star for all aspects of the institute including how we convene, what our curriculum looks like, and how we evaluate our own success.


Our Methods

Developmental Evaluation

Developmental evaluation applies complexity concepts and systems thinking to enhance innovation and support evaluation use when the path forward in uncertain. Any quest for social transformation works within a frame of uncertainty, and often requires enormous leaps at the front end to find a way forward.  We believe developmental evaluation skills are relevant, necessary, and important for evaluators playing a role in systems change that supports increased social justice and equity.  

Our Focus

Under-Represented Communities

The evaluation field has the opportunity to intentionally, tangibly, and openly support the aspirations of communities of color, indigenous communities, and others who have been subjected to oppression in our cultures. In the current day, professionally trained evaluators are largely white. At the most basic level, we hope to cultivate evaluators of color who can facilitate large-scale change for increased social justice and equity. Additionally, we hope to develop white, anti-racist community members and leaders who recognize their privilege and power, and know how to truly inhabit a culturally competent practice in authentic and respectful ways, that do not reinforce the legacies and inequities of injustice and colonization. Read more about our focus on under-represented communities here.

Alternative Pathways

For many communities of color, indigenous communities and other marginalized and oppressed communities, formal education and learning has been a historically negative experience that today culminates in much lower rates of entry to higher education than for white folk, as well as lower rates of completion. There are also many other contemporary and historical barriers to education for these communities.

We envision an Institute that provides pathways for new, emerging, and mid-career evaluators that: 1) does not require program expenditure of money, 2) includes experiential learning, 3) honors methods and modalities from the communities that will be evaluated, 4) is built around the evaluators existing strengths, assets and competencies.  Read more about alternative pathways here.