The EvaluateIT Kit: A Method for Engaging Communities in Evaluating IT Projects
Lennie, June, Hearn, Gregory N., & Hanrahan, Mary U. (2005) The EvaluateIT Kit: A Method for Engaging Communities in Evaluating IT Projects. In International Conference on Engaging Communities, 14-17 August 2005, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)
All community development projects that involve communication and information technologies (C&IT) rely on interactive participation with community members and stakeholders. Participation in design, content development, literacy building and training are all important. When it comes to evaluating the impacts and effectiveness of community IT projects, participation is equally important. So how can community IT projects be evaluated in an inclusive and participatory way? This paper outlines how this can be achieved using an online resource kit developed by Queensland University of Technology and its industry partners - www.evaluateit.org. The EvaluateIT kit is one of the results of three years of intensive research with two rural communities who were developing projects such as community websites to enhance their communities and improve communication and learning. In this paper we:
• Discuss the value of participatory action research and participatory evaluation in evaluating community projects. • Describe the process involved in designing and developing the EvaluateIT kit. • Summarise results of questionnaires and focus group discussions on the kit with rural and regional participants. • Present a detailed case study of how a community group successfully used the EvaluateIT process to improve a rural library website. • Suggest other uses and applications of the kit.
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