Tag Archives: worldview

Transformation turns you inside out; outside in

Meditate on Ephesians 4:17-28

This is a message I spoke to community development staff in Uganda in November 1998.

As an evaluator I search for truth. As a facilitator I help others search for truth, accept truth, live by truth.

In searching for truth, you need to watch out for lies, especially clever lies. In the restaurant at Laston Hotel in Masaka there is a poster that says:

Pilsner Lager
Extra Strong
It’s got what you want

This poster tells a lie. A lie that is believed as true by many. Those who live by this lie cause harm and destruction to others and themselves. In my own family I have seen the harm and destruction that addiction to alcohol can cause. If this poster were to tell the truth, it might look like this:

Pilsner Lager
Extra Strong
If you want to cause harm and destruction to yourself and others,
It’s got what you want

Now hear the word of the Lord: Ephesians 4:17-28

Verse 28 describes the fundamental indicator for transformational development. The person who steals is to stop stealing. Not only that, the person is to produce useful things with his or her own hands, that he or she might share them with others. This is transformation, from stealing to gratify the self, to being productive on behalf of others.

This passage describes the key to planning development programs that are transformational, not just enhancements to living in the world. This passage describes the key to planning programs that will inspire hope for those who are in despair. It describes the key to bringing joy to those who are in very difficult circumstances. Transformational development is based on the truth as it is taught by Jesus.

To understand the truth that is in Jesus, we need to face the fact that each and every one of us in a sinner. As told in the early chapters of Genesis, we have inherited the tendency to act as if we are God rather than being a child of God. God, the omnipotent, loving Creator of all there is, was, and ever will be, allowed us the freedom to disobey, while longing deeply that we would not disobey. But we did, and so we are sinners.

The truth that is in Jesus is that God, through boundless grace, invites us as sinners to be in His presence as forgiven sinners. If we accept this invitation, if we turn our backs on the deceitful ways of the world, we can live in God’s emerging kingdom right now. Cleansed, purified, made new in attitudes of mind, free to put on a new self, free to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Free to stop stealing, free to work with our hands to make something useful so that we can share it with others. Free to turn inside out and outside in, free to say “no” to the lies all around us, free to live by the truth that is in Jesus

Readings for Cultivating a Christian Evaluator Worldview

Crafting one’s Christian worldview is a lifelong journey that can occasion intellectual stimulation superseded only by immersing the mind and heart in Scripture study and meditation. I have learned much from this collection of resources; I commend them to you for prayerful study. Of course there are other helpful texts. Caution: there are both science and Christian materials on this topic that are more like propaganda than reasoned analysis. Seek out material that broadens your understanding from the perspectives of Scripture, church tradition, reason and your experience of God.

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TD Is Engaging in Spiritual Warfare

Talking about the role of spiritual warfare in Transformational Development makes me uncomfortable. I have an hypothesis, however, that failure to see transformation occur in community development is due in part to failure to understand the role of spiritual warfare in communities. This lack of understanding is an obstacle to seeing and confronting evil forces undermining development efforts to enable transformation. So I am working at preventing my discomfort from avoiding the topic.

The attached file, 1 page, is an initial attempt to describe the role of spiritual warfare in community development. I will prepare more posts on this topic as led by the Holy Spirit; eventually I will explore implications for m&e.

Yancey spiritual warfare

Demonstrating Accountability for TD Programs

Different modes of inquiry are needed for demonstrating accountability for Transformational Development programs. In addition to program implementation monitoring. program results evaluation, and impact evaluation there are disciplined reflection, worldview discernment and internal audit. The attached file describes three principles for internal and external accountability and how these modes of inquiry can be applied to answer six accountability questions.  Click 88 MnE for accountability.

Note added September 2017: Programs  that are funded by a grant may be required by the funding agency to host a monitoring evaluation. This is an inquiry exercise conducted by an external evaluator or auditor to determine if the program is in compliance with the conditions agreed by the program agency by accepting the grant and using resources provided by the grant. This way of demonstrating external accountability is not discussed further in this post.

Transformation as Changes in Worldview

T4 Global Ministries describes transformational training as a process that “that leads to a deep, structure shift in how people interpret the world around them, including how they relate to other people, to their environment and to God. Instead of generating only changes in knowledge, attitude and behavior, transformational training generates changes in worldview. It is the kind of change that moves a person or a community from despair to hope, from helplessness to self-reliance, from corruption to trustworthiness.” (www.T4Global.org, about us)

These are the characteristics of desirable TD results inspired by this vision for transformational training:

  • A deep shift in how people interpret their world, especially regarding how they relate to each other, their environment, and God.
  • Emergence of hope from despair.
  • Emergence from powerlessness of the poor to equitable inclusive power sharing.

TD is development that goes beyond improvement of well-being to redemptive social justice and restoration of individuals as children of God.

Note April 2017. T4 Global Ministries has changed its name to Spoken Worldwide, www.spoken.org. The description of transformational training stated above is no longer on the website; but the organization clearly is committed to holistic ministry.

Evaluation Model for TE

I have developed a general framework for comparing different approaches to evaluation. The framework is based on seven aspects of an evaluation exercise.  

Note February 2017. Click this link to see the framework; continue reading for an application of the framework to TE. Evaluation Model as a Concept

In this paper I describe those seven aspects of a particular approach to evaluating a transformational community development program that I call transformative evaluation (TE). I also contrast the TE description with the analogous aspects found in some other approaches to evaluation. There may be common features between approaches but I emphasize those features that set TE apart from other approaches.

 My model for TE is not carved in stone. Each time I prepare it the result can differ in some aspects from previous presentations. But the seven elements of the framework remain constant. In April 2015 my summary of the model is:

 Transformative evaluation examines transformational community development programs. The primary focus for TE is to facilitate deeper understanding of what really matters in community development, with emphasis on development programs as a vehicle for facilitating individual and social transformation from within a Christian worldview. Primary stakeholders, including representatives of faith groups in the community, participate with the evaluator in making major decisions throughout the exercise. The evaluation design and implementation are consistent with a constructivist paradigm for inquiry along with principles for thinking and acting holistically.

This file describes the TE model in detail.  LINK: 78Evaluation Model for TE for evalFrank2

This file is cited in the detailed file for the model. LINK: http://evalfrank.com/2014/11/frame-for-thinking-about-te/

Christian First Practitioner Second (2)

I had the privilege of talking about being Christian first and science practitioner second at the winter conference of the Southern California chapter of the American Scientific Affiliation on February 7 2015.

Here are the links to the materials that I prepared for the presentation.

Presentation Paper → Christian First Practitioner Second

Presentation Slides → Christian First Practitioner Second slides

List of worldview books and internet sites → worldview reading

Comments welcome!

Role of Worldview in Evaluation Work

Clarifying one’s worldview is essential for the transformative evaluator who believes in being Christian first and evaluator second. The attached file emerged as I clarified my worldview. Currently I am reading several texts that may lead to further clarification, perhaps revision. I encourage you to spend a significant amount of time doing something similar.

The focus of the document is an examination of major scientific concepts related to evaluation work from a Christian perspective. I welcome suggestions and challenges.

Click LINK Worldview in Evaluation

Click category Worldview at the right for other worldview posts.

 

Worldview indicators

The more reading I do about worldview, the more convinced I am that it is the most important knowledge to guide a Christian program evaluator.

Steve Wilkens and Mark L. Sanford, Hidden Worldviews, IVP Academic, 2009, describe a lived worldview as a group of answers to ultimate questions about reality (p. 209).

  • What is the nature of being? As a human being what is my purpose?
  • What is the nature of knowledge? How do we know anything? What is true knowledge?
  • What values are primary? How do values guide my everyday living? What is good; what is evil?

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Christian first, evaluator second

“The great need for the Christian worker is to be ready to face Jesus Christ at any and every turn.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 29, page 89.)

 It occurs to me that as a Christian evaluator my relationship with Jesus has no time-out periods.  I need to be just as ready to face him while I am in the field collecting data as I am in the sanctuary.

Many years ago I was on my way in a village to do interviews when a woman interrupted me to ask for prayer. I gently but firmly said that I could not take time to pray with her at the moment. She turned away and I continued on my way. Months later, during a worship service with hundreds of people, a member of the evaluation team described what I had done, and pointed to me while he said that I honored my profession more than my relationship with Christ.

That was when I realized that I was called to be Christian first and evaluator second. Meditate on Luke 12:35-48 (“Be ready for service and have your lamps lit….”) with an open mind and willing heart.