Designing empowerment indicators to assess learning in participatory evaluation projects

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  • The focus of this presentation is to present a working process for analysing the relationship between participants’ learning outcomes deriving from their participation in participatory evaluation and personal and community empowerment processes. Before this first of all I’m going to explain our starting point and how we conceptualize the empowerment. Secondly I’m going to contextualize our research and finally I’m going to develop a working processo for analysing the relationship between participants’ learning outcomes deriving from their participation in participatory evaluation and personal and community empowerment process. I’ll focus on: - to analyse contributions to the field of personal and community empowerment indicators by research into participatory evaluation over the last ten years. - to contribute and present instruments collecting data on the learning outcomes of participants in participatory evaluation processes. - to present a first set of personal and community empowerment indicators.
  • Before we begin, we would like to talk about what we understand by empowerment. Luttrell and Quiroz (2009) have studied the etymology of the term and demonstrated that various possibilities exist along a continuum that spans economic, political and cultural considerations, as well as referring to a human and social context, which is what most interests us here. These authors understand it as a multidimensional social process that helps people take control of their own lives, as well as fostering their ability, and those of social communities, to act on aspects or issues they believe to be important.. We therefore understand empowerment as a process of cultural self-determination by means of which people and groups equip themselves with resources to participate, on equal terms with people in power, in all of those decisions which affect their lives and the contexts in which these unfold. First of all, we know that people do not give their best when subject to control and regulations. Secondly, we also know that people act and function better when we know the what , why , how and what for of actions we are asked to perform. These are more than sufficient reasons to work to empower people and communities in processes of intervention in the field of social education . It is for these reasons that community action professionals work on mentoring and facilitating learning. The aim is not to empower people and communities: the aim lies in raising their awareness that they can empower themselves (Freire, 1973). We therefore find two dimensions in this approach: Individual Group
  • At the end of 2010 we received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation to conduct the research: “Participatory evaluation of community action as a learning methodology for personal and community empowerment.” The research team comprised a group of researchers from three different universities: Barcelona University; Barcelona Autonomous University and Girona University, and from the Citilab Foundation, which is dedicated to researching the “Knowledge Society” and a center for social and digital innovation. It uses and disseminates digital impact on creative thinking, design and innovation emerging from the digital culture. Citilab is a mix between a training center, a research center and an incubator for business and social initiatives . This research seeks to determine whether participatory processes -both physical and virtual- carried out within the framework of community action generate learning that empowers the people involved in them. The aims of this research are: To develop a theoretical framework for participatory evaluation and personal and community empowerment. To analyse the effectiveness and usefulness of participatory evaluation methodology in the process of evaluating community actions and social innovation production processes. To analyse the relationship between learning derived from participation in community-based participatory evaluation processes and personal and community empowerment This article focuses on the development process we have initiated to analyse the relationship between learning derived from participation in community-based participatory evaluation processes and personal and community empowerment ( objective 3).
  • The vehicle used for this research is case study methodology which, according to Stake (1998), focuses on analysing individual cases to attempt to understand them as units of analysis. In our case, as we have already explained, we aim to understand the usefulness and effectiveness of processes applying participatory evaluation in communities, what learning they generate for people and how this learning empowers them. To do this, we will select 3 community plans from the region of Catalonia according to a given set of criteria (e.g. size, type of population; type of financing plans; length of time they have been in force; etc.). Each of these plans constitutes a case which may be characterised as follows according to the types devised by Collet (2000): - With regard to the object of study they are cases which comprise social processes. Specifically, in our research the cases to be studied are processes of social education that take place in area - based communities. With regard to the scope and nature of the case, we can characterise the 3 cases in our sample as exemplary, generic or instrumental, as they were selected from existing cases in Catalonia on the basis of complying with criteria that make them representative of different categories of cases existing within all community plans. With regard to the type of event the case focuses on, we can characterise our cases as contemporary, as they are phenomena which are taking place at the moment. With regard to the use of the case, our cases are exploratory and analytical. Lastly, and in accordance with the number of cases, a multiple case methodology is followed which uses parallel cases to construct theory or specific constructs on the basis of the similarities and/or differences between them.
  • The research project is structured into 5 broad phases, as we can see from this slide. In the first phase, all of the scientific information available on participatory evaluation and community empowerment is updated using a state-of-the-art register of national and international experiences. Also in this phase, prototype instruments are constructed for carrying out the participatory evaluation and collecting and classifying learning outcomes. The second phase involves selecting the sample of case communities to be worked with and initiating contact in each community to set up the different participatory evaluation teams. In the third phase, participatory evaluation is carried out in each region. In the fourth, all of the participants’ learning outcomes from the process are collected. And the fifth and final phase sees said learning outcomes correlated with a previously established set of personal and community empowerment indicators.
  • The focus of this presentation is to present a working process for analysing the relationship between participants’ learning outcomes deriving from their participation in participatory evaluation and personal and community empowerment processes. We therefore have the following aims: - to analyse contributions to the field of personal and community empowerment indicators by research into participatory evaluation over the last ten years. - to contribute and present instruments collecting data on the learning outcomes of participants in participatory evaluation processes. - to present a first set of personal and community empowerment indicators.
  • During this stage we review 130 papers from the relevant literature. We obtained the papers from different databases: the ERIC, the ISI Web of Knowledge, the American Journal of Evaluation, SAGE Journals online, FRANCIS, Oxford Journals and Google Scholar. The key words used for the literature review were: “participatory evaluation” “community evaluation”, “community empowerment”, “participatory assessment”, together with the descriptors: research, project, practice, experience, theory We only selected papers published from 2000 onwards. We analysed 59 papers for their interest to our research.
  • We entered all of these 59 papers in an electronic database. The database includes 38 fields: the abstract, personal and community empowerment indicators, aims, methodology, participants, etc.
  • At the same time as compiling indicators from the literature, work was carried out to construct an instrument in the form of an explanatory document for the construction of and rationale for empowerment indicators. This instrument will be used to collect evidence for each indicator as it is detected in the literature throughout the research process. The instrument will be turned into a manipulable and flexible electronic database in order to extend, modify and improve the definition and evidence for each indicator.
  • The principal fields of the document that will provide relevant information are: - Name and type of indicator - Description: basic information that allows the definition and comprehension of the concept given for the indicator - Type of document where the indicator is found: this field lists the different sources where the indicator appears. The following is specified for each case: - reference: author and year of publication - type: whether it is research, an experience, project or other activities or practices - description: brief title describing the project or experience, if applicable. - Evidence for the indicator: this field presents evidence of how the existence of said indicator is obtained and demonstrated. If possible, the following is detailed in each register: - reference: author and year of publication - methodology: procedure used to detect existence of indicator (interviews, discussion groups, participatory observation, etc.). Articles based purely on theory will be identified as such. - instruments: list of instruments used to provide evidence of the indicator: questionnaires, field diaries, observation records, discussion group reports, etc. - published material: details whether published examples of the aforementioned instruments exist: questionnaires, observation guides, etc. - Limitations / difficulties: details difficulties or limitations in defining, interpreting or data collection for the indicator. - Observations: space to note down any aspects not considered in the above fields but of particular interest in defining the indicator. - Bibliography: detailed list of all bibliographical references used to construct the indicator.
  • Once the instruments for constructing indicators and database for literature on participatory evaluation processes have been produced, we proceed with indicator selection. Personal and/or community empowerment indicators were detected in 24 of the articles and documents analysed. Personal empowerment indicators were detected in 21 of them, and community empowerment indicators in 19. However, no documents were found in the review of the literature which had the explicit aim of studying or presenting empowerment indicators. Once empowerment indicators had been found in the articles, they were selected and grouped according to Zimmerman’s classification (2000) (personal level, organizational level and community level). We will now present the resulting selection and classification, and what we consider a first set of empowerment indicators (work in progress).
  • The initial proposal for empowerment indicators we have presented here is the instrument we shall use to contrast the participatory evaluation processes in three Catalan communities. In order to compare, extend and formulate these, we will apply different instruments to contribute evidence of participants’ learning outcomes in the participatory evaluation process and the empowerment outcomes found in said participants and communities. The process we shall follow is: - Register community entering and participatory evaluation sessions to detect and compare changes in participants’ level of empowerment at the end of the process. - Design a tool for data collection in the 4th phase: test construction, in-depth interviews, and focus group with different groups. - Apply instrument - Validate and reformulate set of empowerment indicators
  • Thank you very much for your attention

Transcript

  • 1. Designing empowerment indicators to assess learning in participatory evaluation projects Anna Planas Pere Soler University of Girona Spain This presentation has been made ​​under the project "Participatory evaluation of community action as a learning methodology to personal and community empowerment" (EDU2010-15122/Subprogram EDUC) funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. IP: Dr. Xavier Úcar Martínez.(other researchers: Héctor Núñez, Pilar Pineda, Estefania Crespo, Pilar Heras, Asun Llena, Ester Gil, Laia Sánchez, Jordi Colobrans I Artur Serra
  • 2. Contents
    • Our starting point- Empowerment
    • Research aims and stages
    • Contributions to the field of personal and community empowerment indicators
    • Instruments collecting data on the learning outcomes of participants in participatory evaluation processes.
    • First set of personal and community empowerment indicators
  • 3. Empowerment Process of cultural self-determination by means of which people and groups equip themselves with resources to participate in all of those decisions which affect their lives and the contexts in which these unfold (Craig, 2002; Luttrell y Quiroz, 2009; Rappaport, 1981, et al.) Concientización- Awareness (Freire, 1973)
  • 4. Participatory evaluation of community action as a learning methodology for personal and community empowerment
    • Research aims
    • To develop a theoretical framework for participatory evaluation and personal and community empowerment.
    • To analyse the effectiveness and usefulness of the participatory evaluation methodology i n the process of evaluating community actions and social innovation production processes.
    • To analyse the relationship between the learning derived from participation in community-based participatory evaluation processes and personal and community empowerment
  • 5. Case study methodology
    • Choice of 3 community plans (based on criteria such as size, population, financing plans, etc...)
  • 6. Research stages State-of- art register Construction of prototype instruments Web and social network design Collection of contextual information Participatory evaluation teams configuration in each territory Web and Social Network publication Participatory evaluation conceptualization in each territory Methodological and tools design to each terrotory Participatory Evaluation instruments application in each territory Presentation and public discussion of the final report in each territory Application of instruments to identify empowerment levels Report of virtual social network outcomes Processing gathered information Drawing conclusions and proposals for action Final report writting STAGE 1 STAGE 2 STAGE 3 STAGE 4 STAGE 5 12 month 6 month 14 month 4 months 7 months
  • 7. Purpose of this presentation
    • 1- To analyse contributions to the field of personal and community empowerment indicators by research into participatory evaluation.
    • 2- To c ontribute and present instruments collecting data on the learning outcomes of participants in participatory evaluation processes.
    • 3- To present a first set of personal and community empowerment indicators
  • 8. 1- Contributions to the field of personal and community empowerment indicators
    • Review of the relevant literature: 130 papers
    • Databases consulted: ERIC, ISI Web of Knowledge, American Journal of Evaluation, etc.
    • Key words used: empowerment, participatory evaluation, participatory assessment, empowerment evaluation, empowerment indicators, community evaluation, social digital innovation together with the descriptors: research, project, practice, experience, theory
    • Papers from 2000
    • Results: Analysis of 59
  • 9.
    • 38 fields
    Construction of a database to register the papers 1- Contributions to the field of personal and community empowerment indicators Abstract, aims methodology, participants, empowerment indicators, type of paper (research, project, action), city of action, etc.
  • 10.
    • Explanatory document for the construction of and rationale for empowerment indicators
    2- To contribute and present instruments collecting data on the learning outcomes of participants in participatory evaluation processes.
  • 11. Name T ype Personal € Community € Description Type of document where the indicator is found Refer e nce Tipology (Res./Exper./Proj./Other act.) D escriptio n Evid ence for indicator Refer ence Methodology Instr uments Published material Límitations / difficulties Description Reference Observations Bibliography
  • 12. 3- To present a first set of personal and community empowerment indicators
    • 21 papers personal empowerment indicators
    • 19 papers community empowerment indicators
    • Analysed papers: 24 empowerment indicators
    • Indicators selection and classification
  • 13.
    • Intrapersonal level:
    • Self-stem
    • Individual responsibility
    • Discipline
    • Confidence/courage/security.
    • Feel stronger
    • Assertiveness
    • Plans to complete. Choice capability
    • Self-evaluation and evaluation capability
    • Critical reflection
    • Freedom
    • Interpersonal or interactional lever:
    • Recognition of rights and duties
    • Building capability
    • Communication abilities
    • Respect for others
    • Participation
    • Collaboration. Work group
    • Helping others
    • Social inclusion.
    • Sense of identification and membership
    • Modification of the personal rol
    • Leadership
    • Knowledge
    • Community knowledge.
    • Educational and cultural growth
    • Awareness. Critical reflection
    • Behavorial
    • Performance improvement
    PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT INDICATORS
  • 14.
    • COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT INDICATORS
    • Communication and cooperation
    • Networks. Strengthening relationships. Cooperation.
    • Communication. Learning share
    • Equitable relationship with outsider agents
    • Inclusion, community identity
    • Inclusion and social integration
    • Local identity. Sense of community.
    • Self-image and positive self-concept of the community
    • Community Knowledge
    • Building infrastructure, partnership and organizational environment.
    • Participation and policy influence
    • Creation of involvement opportunities
    • Participation. Democratic participation
    • Problem solving. Collective decision. Collective ownership
    • Social capital generation
    • Organizational learning's and organizational culture
    • Organizational learning's. Capacity building.
    • Evaluation culture. Evaluation capacity
    • Community responsibility
    • Resource availability
    • Programs management control. Programs improvement
    • Innovation
  • 15. Next Steps
      • Community entering
      • Tool design for data collection
      • Apply instrument
      • Validat e and reformulat e set of empowerment indicators
  • 16. Designing empowerment indicators to assess learning in participatory evaluation projects Anna Planas anna.planas@udg.edu Pere Soler [email_address] University of Girona Spain This presentation has been made ​​under the project "Participatory evaluation of community action as a learning methodology to personal and community empowerment" (EDU2010-15122/Subprogram EDUC) funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation. IP: Dr. Xavier Úcar Martínez.(other researchers: Héctor Núñez, Pilar Pineda, Estefania Crespo, Pilar Heras, Asun Llena, Ester Gil, Laia Sánchez, Jordi Colobrans I Artur Serra