Equity, diversity and inclusion


Inclusive assessment framework

The inclusive assessment framework is the basic conceptual structure underlying the recognition component of the Dimensions program.

Three principles of the framework

1. Centrality of voices

Institutions are expected to address experiences of racism, gender discrimination, homo- and transphobia, ableism, and other harms within their communities. A key strategy for doing so begins with gathering “engagement-based evidence,” which emphasizes the centrality of voices of those impacted by inequity, exclusion, and injustice in postsecondary institutions. Such voices form the core of the evidence that leads to the identification of priorities addressed in the institution’s Dimensions action plan.

2. Mutuality and co-operation

The program is also designed to bolster the practice of mutuality, reinforcing that an institution’s EDI commitments is not just to itself, but to the improvement of the research ecosystem. Evidence should show not just how the institution is faring internally, but how its work is part of the broader goal of re-imagining the Canadian research community.

3. Context-specific evidence

The Dimensions program aims to be inclusive of institutions of varying types, sizes, and locations confronting different challenges and opportunities. A firm understanding of historical, cultural, and geographical factors is key. To accommodate the unique context and experiences of each institution, the Dimensions application will allow for flexibility. Therefore, institutions will have the opportunity to submit information that represents their specific circumstances, communities, and priorities.

Categories of evidence

Institutions applying for Dimensions recognition will need to provide evidence of their efforts to address equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in their research ecosystems. Five categories of evidence that demonstrate this work were established. The categories of evidence, and their definitions, were designed to prioritize honest and authentic self-reflection, action and cultural shift.

Visual representation of the framework

The following illustration captures the elements of inclusive institutional self-assessment, described above. It is meant to illustrate that Dimensions work is grounded in the voices and lived experiences of equity-deserving groups in the institution’s community. Quantitative and qualitative tools are intended to expand and augment the voices, all of which form the basis for the five categories of evidence required in the application. Finally, the Dimensions program recognizes that activities take place within the institution’s unique context.

A figure made up of three overlapping circles
Long Description

A figure made up of three overlapping circles in descending order with a wavy line surrounding them all.

Wavy line: Context

Outside circle: Categories of evidence (evidence of motivation; evidence of gaps and needs; evidence of assets and obstacles; evidence of commitment; evidence of change)

Inner circle: Quantitative and qualitative tools for building evidence and storytelling

Center: Voices

Recognition application review committee

The evidence and information provided in applications are assessed by academics and professionals with expertise in EDI-related scholarship and work, using an innovative review process to prioritize action, learning, and promising practices to be shared widely.

The review committee provides a careful and thoughtful review of applications by assessing institutional progress and by providing constructive feedback to help institutions continue to make change. It also evaluates their efforts towards reflection, critical self-assessment and engagement with their research communities; their collection and analysis of data; their development and implementation of initiatives through an action plan to address gaps and inequities; and their assessment of the impacts of actions taken.

The program adopts a holistic approach, which should not be seen as a competition among institutions. During the adjudication process, institutions are not compared with each other. Rather, they are evaluated based on their realities, context, available resources, assets and obstacles.

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Equity, diversity and inclusion


Equity, diversity and inclusion


Equity, diversity and inclusion


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