Equitable policymaking is both a process and an outcome that can have long-term and profound consequences when developed without specific attention to the internal and external factors that support identity formation. However, a large percentage of organizations, including those with adequate resources and organizational infrastructure, struggle to operationalize equity tools in their policy development process. To add insult to injury, many existing capacity-building resources do not effectively address the unique needs and challenges faced by nonprofit organizations or their constituencies.
So where should nonprofits, start? To resolve this widespread challenge, nonprofits need to look no further than our expansive network. By leveraging the experiences and expertise of our peers, we can acquire the requisite skills and training to modify readily available tools to support nonprofit advocacy and policy solutions.
What is an Equity Impact Assessment?
To sufficiently address the various ways that individuals are disempowered, we must first conduct an evaluation and analysis of the policies and practices that inform the most important decisions. An Equity Impact Assessment (EIA) is a structured analysis that can be applied to any standard policy- or policymaking process with the goal of identifying equity gaps and remedying barriers, burdens, and inequities.
How does an Equity Assessment impact my nonprofit’s mission and policy agenda?
Because the nonprofit sector employs our nation’s most diverse workforce and serves multicultural communities, charitable nonprofits share the responsibility of placing intersectional equity at the center of every policy under consideration. An equity impact assessment helps us to better understand how the intersection of numerous identities cultivate unique experiences and how aspects of those experiences are shaped by privilege and discrimination. Then, and only then, will we have acquired the necessary insight to craft comprehensive solutions that meet the needs of every demographic served by nonprofit organizations.
How do Equity Impact Assessments support nonprofits’ long-term investment in civil society?
The answer is simple. Impact evaluation is the price we pay to advance systems change. All policy solutions, including those developed by nonprofits, must be designed with a clear understanding of how they shape or impede equitable outcomes. There is a growing community of practice in local and state government jurisdictions, as well as in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, with the know-how and tools to support a systematic change within and across all sectors. However, without a comprehensive evaluation method to intentionally assess the equitable impact of their policy development process, nonprofits risk perpetuating inequities that are embedded into their existing or proposed policies.
How can intentionality and intersectional equity scale your impact beyond inclusion to advance social and systems change?
We invite you to join Independent Sector for our first in a series of five policy workshops designed to tailor capacity building tools and resources to support nonprofit public policy and advocacy. The virtual workshop will be held at 2:00 PM ET on Tuesday, April 12 and will explore the use of equity impact assessments to examine how various demographics are affected by a proposed policy, and effective strategies to proactively minimize unintended and disparate impacts.
During this 90-minute, capacity-building session, experts will equip participants with the knowledge and abilities to efficiently navigate reoccurring barriers and deepen their understanding of the efficacy and consequences of their organization’s policy development process. An optional 30-minute Q&A segment will be held upon the conclusion of the session.
Elements of this policy workshop include:
- Deep-dive conversations
- Small group facilitation and peer learning
- Interactive engagement opportunities
- Reading, educational, and capacity-building resources
This policy workshop is free-of-charge and open to non-IS members, but attendance will be limited. Register today to learn how your nonprofit can expand its policy work in more equitable ways through impact assessment and evaluation.
Please email Neisha McGee, IS Manager of Advocacy, Engagement & Mobilization at email@example.com should you have questions or concerns.