Measuring hope for children living in poverty: Engaging stakeholders in evaluation at City Kidz

Janzen, Rich and Araujo, Liliana (2013) Measuring hope for children living in poverty: Engaging stakeholders in evaluation at City Kidz. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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For almost 20 years City Kidz has been working to impact the lives of children in the lowest income neighbourhoods of Hamilton, Ontario. As a faith-based non-profit, its mission is to increase resiliency and inspire big dreams and hope for children by providing inspirational experiences and nurturing personal relationships, one child at a time. Each week, over 2,000 children receive home visits from City Kidz volunteers. Each Saturday, over 1,000 children attend a dynamic kids program in a classic Vaudeville theatre. City Kidz also trains interested youth “graduates” to become the next generation of volunteers. The purpose of this presentation is to share the evaluation experience of City Kidz. It was a collaborative evaluation that followed the principles of participatory action research (PAR). The presentation will focus on the process of the evaluation, in particular how stakeholder voices were engaged throughout the evaluation. Drawing on existing PAR literature, the presentation will describe the mechanisms of engagement that were used. These mechanisms included a stakeholder steering group that guided each step of the evaluation, the training and supporting of “community researchers” to assist with data gathering, a mixed method design that considered multiple stakeholder perspectives, and the facilitation of active funder involvement (World Vision Canada) towards using evaluation findings to inform the replication of City Kidz nation-wide. The presentation will also describe the products of engagement. These products were collaboratively developed, including a comprehensive evaluation framework, program logic model, community researcher training manual, qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools, and a user-friendly evaluation report. In particular, we will highlight the process of collaboratively developing the evaluation’s measures of hope. These measures drew on previous standardized tools based on theories of hope and resiliency developed by academic researchers. However, stakeholders were engaged to contextualize hope constructs within the program’s own theory of change.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Item ID: 1794
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 13 June 2013
Date Type: Completion
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