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Kelly M. Hannum and Holly A. Downs

Evaluation efforts focus on gathering and weighing various kinds and sources of evidence in order to make a practical judgment for a specific purpose and within a specific context. Understanding the purposes and methods of evaluation, and how it is different from research, better enables us to navigate the inherent complexities. In this chapter, the authors explore the role of evaluation with regard to EDI research, and discuss key elements of evaluation theory and practice in the context of EDI work. Specifically, the authors distinguish evaluation and research, provide reasons why evaluation of EDI is important, discuss ontology, axiology, epistemology and methodology related to evaluation, and provide an overview of evaluation approaches of particular interest to those engaging in EDI study or practice. The authors conclude the chapter with a discussion about navigating tensions in applying evaluation of EDI and in developing evaluation-specific methodologies.