An evaluation capacity-building process for sustainable community IT initiatives : empowering and disempowering impacts

Lennie, June (2005) An evaluation capacity-building process for sustainable community IT initiatives : empowering and disempowering impacts. Evaluation, 11(4), pp. 390-414.

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Participatory evaluation methodologies are considered to produce many positive and empowering impacts. However, given the complex power, knowledge and discursive issues involved and other factors, use of these methodologies can have contradictory effects. This article presents results from the implementation of a process that aimed to build the capacities of people in two Australian rural communities to evaluate their local communication and information technology (C&IT) initiatives. The ‘LEARNERS’ process used participatory action research and participatory evaluation methods, and took an inclusive ‘whole of community’ approach. The process aimed to enhance community development and to facilitate community empowerment, participation and leadership, particularly for women. Rigorous analysis of the impacts of the project found that it was effective in producing various degrees of social, technological, political and psychological empowerment. However, some corresponding disempowering impacts were also identified. The strengths and limitations of this evaluation capacity-building process and the lessons learned are considered.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 18733
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1177/1356389005059382
ISSN: 1356-3890
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Sage Publishing
Deposited On: 13 Mar 2009 03:51
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:16

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