Sins of omission and commission: To proceed, decline, or alter?

Dina Birman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The article addresses a hypothetical dilemma confronted by an evaluator of a transition from welfare program regarding inclusion of a small immigrant/language minority group in the study. The article advocates for inclusion of diverse groups. Three important aspects of diversity are discussed that have particular relevance to transition from welfare for immigrants and refuges: legal status, the relative size and concentration of the ethnic/language community, and the specific cultural and historical circumstances. Legal status is a factor that affects eligibility for welfare and incentives for transitioning to work. Smaller groups may be particularly important to include because their access to culturally sensitive resources may be especially limited. Historical circumstances in the country of origin shape the attitudes of an immigrant or refugee group toward use of government aid. The ethical dilemma is discussed in relation to the AEA's Guiding Principles for Evaluators of Diversity, Competence, and Honesty and Integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Diversity
  • Ethnic minority
  • Immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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