Runner Head: Community Development evaluation Of Community Development Approaches sure Start Case

Read Complete Research Material


Evaluation of Community Development Approaches

Sure Start Case

[Name of the Institute]


This article focuses on negotiation and discusses its relevance for evaluators. Given the impetus for participatory evaluation, evaluators would benefit from improving skills that enable them to make collaborative decisions and work alongside stakeholders, in particular in community evaluations. Negotiation skills are explored through post hoc reflection of a Sure Start programme evaluation in a UK setting. Literature on stakeholder involvement and negotiation is discussed together with the UK evaluation. Recommendations are made on how to utilize elements of negotiation in community programme evaluation.

Community Development Approaches

Case of Sure Start


Evaluation of complex community-based initiatives (CCIs) is an important facet of improving health and reducing inequalities in the UK (Judge, 2000; Sullivan et al., 2004). Successful evaluation of community-based initiatives is arguably a collaborative effort by all stakeholders. Recognizing the 'multitude of actors' (Alexander, 2003) involved in any given piece of evaluation activity, the role of networking and shared learning acknowledges the growing importance of partnership and whole systems approaches within evaluations (Bauld et al., 2005) and provides the mechanism for evaluators to engage with complexity. Globally, the positive outcomes of participatory and partnership approaches to evaluation are increasingly reported. For example, Foster-Fishman et al. (2005), working within the community psychology movement in the USA, explore the importance of reflection and 'voice' in evaluation.

They argue for designing evaluation methods to support goals of empowerment and social justice. In their work they discuss how using photography as a medium for group work resulted in participants having an increased sense of control over their own lives as well as becoming community change agents through empowering them as experts in their own lives. Based in South Africa, Niba and Green (2005) compare participatory and non-participatory frameworks for evaluation in HIV/AIDS projects and conclude that participatory frameworks can create an enabling environment to meet objectives, in particular improved group awareness, knowledge and attitudes, as well as internalization of objectives. Nevertheless, despite wide-ranging examples of studies demonstrating public participation, sustainability and multidisciplinary working, participatory approaches also have their costs. These may comprise, for example, higher financial outlays relating to participation activities or compromise (or abandonment) of evaluation goals and objectives (Edwards and Roelofs, 2006; Spielman et al., 2006; White, 2006).

There is a clear impetus to undertake evaluations 'with' rather than 'on' communities (Wallerstein, 1999). Through a post hoc analysis of a Sure Start evaluation that took place in the south of England, this article outlines ways in which negotiation skills can be utilized by evaluators. Examples of establishing and maintaining a 'negotiated' evaluation are provided.

Negotiation Theory

Negotiation literature involves a number of traditions including mathematical modelling (in particular game theory), theory about the behaviour of negotiators and mediators, and advice and manuals on the process of negotiation. Behavioural paradigms are paramount, exploring relationships between parties and outcomes of relationships, attending to culture and social context, as well as group pro cesses (Pruitt and Carnevale, 1993). A range of models or theories have guided negotiation ...
Related Ads