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Critical Reflection in Community-Based Evaluation

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Abstract

Having used critical reflection in teaching students about a critical social work approach, the writer explores the development of a critical reflection framework for thinking about evaluation. She identifies a range of possible criteria including: • seeing subjective histories and stories as valid sources of information and knowledge, • making sure the views of those least likely to be heard are included, • enabling participants to make connections between personal and broader structural issues, and • specific suggestions about evaluation processes such as paying attention to processes as well as outcomes. These criteria are used to critically consider the evaluation of two community-based projects - Shared Action, a community development approach to child safety and community building, and the Rural Access Project - a pilot project exploring the provision of education services about arthritis in rural communities. She concludes that such a framework could certainly help in raising issues for evaluators.

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