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Participative learning for evaluation: a systems approach to the development of evaluation capability for community projects

Kagan, Carolyn and Boyd, Alan and Geerling, Ted and Gregory, Wendy J. and Midgley, Gerald and Murray, Peter and Walsh, Mike (2003) Participative learning for evaluation: a systems approach to the development of evaluation capability for community projects. In: Kagan C., Boyd A., Geerling T., Gregory W.J., Midgley G., Murray P and Walsh M. Participative learning for evaluation: a systems approach to the development of evaluation capability for community projects. In A. Erasmus and P. du Toit. Proceedings ALAPRM/. UNSPECIFIED. ISBN 1868545172 (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper describes a participative project, which sought to build capacity for evaluation across the community, voluntary, and statutory health sectors in three authorities within Greater Manchester, UK. A systems methodology was adopted, which emphasised the inclusion of marginalised groups, multiple stakeholder involvement and participative methods. Five action research stages were identified. A needs analysis in which 55 community-based projects participated was followed by nine multi-agency learning events, each of which explored, in participatory ways, issues identified by the projects. Three further multi-agency workshops explored new ways of working together in order to practice evaluation for the benefits of the local community. A follow up survey examined how the project had led to longer-term outcomes for projects, and currently a number of feasible ideas for mutual support for evaluation practice are being explored. Overall some 150 groups from across three authorities, all with an interest in improving community health (broadly defined) participated in the project.

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