How to Evaluate Inclusion Focused Initiatives

Earlier this year, OTF partnered with the Canadian Evaluation Society to host a cross sectoral conversation focused on how to evaluate inclusion focused initiatives. We had a robust conversation with four people doing a combination of evaluation, research and/or program delivery in the inclusion space. Our contributors were Jessica Ferne, John Beebe, Paul Favaro and Andrew Taylor. Every Thursday for the next four weeks, we will be sharing short videos of some of the conversation we had that we think would be interesting for organizations working in this space.

We will be starting next Thursday, September 13th with our first contributor Jessica Ferne, sharing about the evolution of the License to Learn initiative through data and evaluation.

Use #evalforinclusion to follow the conversation. Join us and share your thoughts!


I am so excited for this series!


Interested to know how you define(d) Inclusion. It’s a term that is being used a lot in a variety of settings but carries very different meaning in each context.

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Hey Jonathan,

Thank you for the question. We try hard not to actually define the term itself. Instead of defining it, we probe more at what it feels like when it is present or absent. Much of our work at the foundation is investing in the infrastructure that makes inclusion happen. Strictly on definitions, I really like the one from the Institutional Diversity Blog out of Ryerson University. The wording is university specific, but it is still a good definition.

This is how they define inclusion:

‚ÄúInclusion: The active and intentional operationalization of diversity and equity within every facet of university life and activities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect. Organizationally, inclusion requires the identification and removal of barriers (e.g. physical, procedural, visible, invisible, intentional, unintentional) that inhibit members‚Äô participation and contribution. Inclusion also requires every member of the community to demonstrate university values and principles of fairness, justice, equity, and respect in learning, teaching, research, service and employment, by being open to different voices and perspectives, developing an understanding of different cultures, experiences and communities, and making a conscious effort to be welcoming, helpful and respectful to everyone.‚ÄĚ

Source Institutional Diversity Blog


Thank you for the example of Inclusion, as it is defined by RU. Certainly wide encompassing but what resonates with me is the ‚Äėintentionality‚Äô of it.