Cultural Humility in Evaluation

Decorative boxes

Why do Cultural Contexts Matter?

California is the most diverse state in the union. To work effectively in such a cultural landscape, it is important to understand the characteristics, norms and access points of the varied populations who live here. It's also crucial to recognize cultural biases that influence how we see, hear, and interpret information. 

TCEC supports adopting an attitude of cultural humility in tobacco control and evaluation, as we appreciate that cultures are not static boxes to be checked off, but rather dynamic and ever-changing. Working across many (and intersecting) cultures requires us to be vulnerable, set aside our egos, and engage in self-reflection of our own implicit biases, assumptions, and privileges. 

We recognize that "cultural competency" is a term widely used in our field, and we don't wish to disregard those who may be required to operate under that or similar terms. We encourage our partners to consider cultural competency, inclusiveness, and responsiveness as necessary entry points to a deeper conversation.

By committing to being culturally humble, we commit to cross-cultural learning as a life-long process, not merely a competency to be achieved. 

Read more about cultivating an attitude of cultural humility here.

What does cultural humility look like in practice? Let’s take a public opinion survey for example. With the intention of cultural inclusiveness, one might (and rightly so) ensure that a survey is available in multiple languages and administered in various locations known to have diverse groups of ethnicities. Great start.

Cultural humility requires asking some questions about the process, such as: are there any biases that have crept into the survey wording; perhaps some assumptions that do not hold true for this demographic; are there biases and/or assumptions present as this information gets analyzed; is there someone or some resource that can help better inform the design of this survey and remove these barriers to gathering accurate data?

Continuing to ask these types of questions as evaluation plans and instruments are developed and utilized is a concrete way to incorporate cultural humility into our work.

--from Cultural Humility in Evaluation: There are No Experts
by Danielle Lippert, MPH 

Cultural Competency Tools

Working with Priority Populations

The following guides were developed with the input of community-based organizations and county health program staff working on tobacco control projects in California to provide insight on how best to work with local communities. For current data sources on California's Priority Populations, please see Priority Population Data.

Working with Stakeholder Groups

Working with Retailers and Other Businesses (1:09:52)