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Empowerment Evaluation

Authors:
  • Pacifica Graduate Institute University of Charleston and San Jose State University

Abstract

Empowerment evaluation is the use of evaluation concepts and techniques to foster self-determination. The focus is on helping people help themselves. This evaluation approach focuses on improvement, is collaborative, and requires both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. It is also highly flexible and can be applied to evaluation in any area, including health, education, business, agriculture, microcomputers, non-profits and foundations, government, and technology. It is a multifaceted approach with many forms, including training, facilitation, advocacy, illumination, and liberation.
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... Empowerment Evaluation and Participatory Action Research. The concepts of Empowerment Evaluation (Fetterman 1994) and Participatory Action Research (Lewin 1946) have greatly influenced and inspired the development of the Community Dialogue framework. Rather than relying on outside entities to visit an in-situ environment, pass their judgment, and leave, these methodologies rely on the skills, knowledge, and relationships of local participants to build an understanding of community which will directly and positively impact that community, not solely other researchers. ...
... This is not to say that the Dialogue model is an evaluation or research activity, simply that the theoretical framing of these models is well suited to the intentions of library staff conducting these activities. Empowerment Evaluation, characterized by a collaborative methodology, focuses on self-determination in an evaluative setting (Patton 1997;Fetterman 1994). It formulates relationships between stakeholders, evaluators, and the community through evaluative concepts and techniques that create a synergistic approach to projects or programs where all parties are actively engaged (Secret, Jordan, and Ford 1999;Fetterman et al. 2017;Fetterman and Wandersman 2005). ...
... This approach also shifts authority from the evaluators to the interested groups to choose criteria, collect the data, and disseminate the reports (Stufflebeam 1994;Everhart and Wandersman 2000;Fetterman et al. 2017). This process "is explicitly designed to serve a vested interest" (Fetterman 1994). We see this as a key component of Dialogue. ...
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Over the past decade, public libraries have shifted from quiet repositories of knowledge to raucous centers of public engagement. Seeking to fill the educational and social gaps left by other informal education organizations (such as museums and science centers) public libraries are hiring social workers, running accessible makerspaces, developing English language learner (ELL) programs, facilitating hands-on STEM activities, providing information about community resources and social services, delivering summer meals, and much more. But what are the next steps needed to continue this high level of engagement? Through the Community Dialogue Framework (Dialogue), libraries engage with their communities to reach groups not currently benefiting from library services, provide equitable access to resources, develop new partnerships, and-in the time of COVID-began to address the digital divide in their communities. While most library staff agree that providing equitable services is key to their mission, it is perhaps harder to articulate how this can be done. This article provides an overview of the literature that contributed to the development of the Community Dialogue Strategy, and provides actionable advice and lessons learned for conducting Dialogues. An examination of forty public libraries' engagement with and learning from Dialogues was conducted using a qualitative approach and reflexive thematic analysis. An account from a librarian who hosted multiple Dialogues is also presented as a first-person narrative describing their methods and successes using the tool. Library staff at any stage of their community engagement journey can use this paper to understand the benefits and practical considerations for conducting Dialogues, find recommendations for relevant research, understand the basics of conducting Dialogues, and understand the next steps in this emerging component of librarianship.
... Teve como pioneiros Stufflebeam (1968), que desenvolveu o modelo CIPP (contexto, inputs, processos, produtos) centrado no processo de decisão, e Wholey (1981), também focado na avaliação orientada para a tomada de decisão. Alkin (1970;, Patton (1997;), Cousins (1986, Fetterman (1994), Preskill (2000; e Owen (2002) são outros autores neste ramo. O trabalho destes teóricos expressa, no essencial, uma preocupação com a forma como a informação da avaliação será usada e por quem. ...
Thesis
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