Shoshana Cohen, Gianni Marabella, Anna S. Pruitt, & Eva McKinsey
Hawaiʻi-Pacific Evaluation Association 2018 Conference, Kaneʻohe, H.I., October 2018
Publication year: 2018

Community programs often must be culturally adapted to fit the needs of the target population (Galavotti et al., 2008; Wandersman et al., 2008). In turn, program staff can face difficulties balancing program fidelity to the model with necessary program adaptation. For example, the City and County of Honolulu’s Housing First Program Housing Year 3 Evaluation Report pointed to the program’s efforts to balance local cultural traditions, such as large families that include hanai family members, with program model stipulations requiring independent housing (Pruitt & Barile, 2018). Similarly, program evaluators of such programs must adjust their evaluation designs to reflect program cultural adaptions. Additionally, evaluators face difficulty in designing an evaluation that fits funder requirements and is culturally appropriate for the program and its participants. This poster addresses this difficulty by presenting a culturally adaptive evaluation design for the HF program using the “‘Ohana Approach.” The ‘Ohana approach is based in community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islander (NHPI) values. For example, instead of focusing on the progress of the individual, the ‘Ohana approach is primarily rooted within indigenous cultural ideals regarding family and community to ignite progress – allowing a solid, yet expansive, foundation for transformative change to occur. The poster will first briefly define the approach and then, will present an evaluation design for the HF program based on these principles. With 49% of Housing First (HF) clients being NHPI (Pruitt & Barile, 2018), taking a family/‘Ohana-oriented evaluation approach that uses CBPR methods and honors holistic cultures of NHPIs has transformative potential for families as well as the extended community.