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Ethnographic Assessment & Evaluation Systems (EAES) is one of four subsystems of the Cultural Ecology of Health and Change (the CEHC--See Appendix 1 for list of all acronyms).  The CEHC is an anthropologically informed applied research and technical assistance system developed by Tony Whitehead, Professor of Medical Anthropology at the University Of Maryland The focus of the CEHC is on "community based initiatives" (CBIs), with which Dr. Whitehead has more than 30 years of professional experience, in the U.S. and abroad.  The other three subsystems of the CEHC are:

  1. Ethnographically Informed Community & Cultural Assessments Research Systems (the EICCARS), a multi-method research system used to collect holistic or systemic data about the community or population that is being targeted by a CBIs.
  2. The CEHC System in Project Design and Implementation Plan (the PDIP). 
  3. The CEHC System in Project Implementation Programs (the PIPs)

The four applied research and technical assistance programs of the CEHC are informed by three integrated CEHC paradigms developed by Dr. Whitehead:

  1. The Cultural Systems Paradigm (the CSP);
  2. The Cultural Systems Approach to Change (the CSAC); and
  3. The Cultural Systems Approach to Program, Planning and Implementation (the CSAPPE). 
Each of these paradigms informs various components of each the four CEHC systems.  As such, while a graphic illustration of these three conceptual paradigms is provided in Appendix 2, descriptions of these paradigms will be provided in the following discussion when they come up in relationship to various EAES programs.  At the same time however, in discussing any one of the four CEHC systems, there needs to be a brief introduction to the other three, because of the continuity or overlap between all four programs, and between the three CEHC paradigms.  This continuity or overlap is due to the fact that the CEHC was developed with great emphasis given to contextual "holism" or comprehensiveness and socio-cultural process.  Thus in terms of contextual comprehensiveness, the CSP is a comprehensive paradigm that informs the development and implementation of community research that will aid in understanding the complexity of issues that are related to any human problems to be targeted by a CBI. The CSAC is a paradigm for conceptualizing contextually comprehensive CBIs. The CSAPPE is a comprehensive approach to operationalizing the categories of the CSAC for the effective design, implementation and evaluation of CBIs. These paradigms then contribute to the comprehensiveness of each of the 4 CEHC systems. At the same time, within the conceptualization of the CEHC, contextual comprehensiveness and process are emphasized by advocating that all four of the CEHC systems (program planning, program implementation, community assessment research, and program evaluation) be viewed as a continuum, and that all three of the conceptual paradigms (the CSP, the CSAC, and the CSAPPE) are viewed as interrelated.  This continuity or overlap will become clearer in the remainder of this paper as we discuss various aspects of the EAES.

Similar to the present EAES working paper, there are similar working papers for the other three CEHC programs. There are also a number of Program Training Manuals (PTMs) used to train others in the CEHC methodologies. Moreover, whereas these CEHC programs, working papers, and PTMs are developed for use in geographical communities as the social unit of focus, similar CEHC programs and materials are being developed to focus on organizational, institutional, corporate, and bureaucratic cultures.  

See the full working paper (linked below) for more information.

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Working Papers

Introduction to the Ethnographic Assessment and Evaluation Sysems (EAES)

Introduction to the Cultural Ecology of Health and Change (CECH)

Paradigms of the Cultural Ecology of Health and Change

Program Training Manuals and Workbooks



Links to Related Websites



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