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Volume 14, 1999 - Spring

Empowerment Evaluation: Understanding the Theory Behind the Framework

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Pages :
1-28

This article describes empowerment evaluation and reviews its adequacy as an evaluation model. The author shows that empowerment evaluation, as developed thus far, is very broad in scope and vague in detail. It is underdeveloped in many areas, including its orientation to knowledge building (epistemology), values, appropriate programmatic context and use, and some areas of method. More work needs to be done to clarify and improve the empowerment evaluation technique if it is to become a stronger model.

valuation de l'impact du programme Sprint sur la situation au marché du travail de ses diplômés

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Pages :
29-43

The Individual Subsidy and Loan Program for Workers (SPRINT) was introduced by the Quebec government in September 1992 to financially support workers who have been active in the workplace for a minimum of six years and who would like to obtain an occupational training diploma at the secondary or collegial level. A survey was conducted in December 1996with graduates who had completed their training program between September 1992 and September 1995 and with clients admitted to the program who did not participate in it. The latter group was a control group in evaluating the program's impact on the graduates' employment rate at the time of the survey, the amount of time unemployed since the end of their training, and their remuneration. The results of regression equations estimates by the Probit or the Ordinary Least-Squares methods, as the case may be, indicate that the results obtained in the workplace by the graduates do not differ from those obtained by the members of the control group. To correct for possible selection bias in the estimation, various specific equations were tested without changing the results. Added to the already numerous results of other evaluations, these results suggest that occupational training programs are far from a panacea and can be ineffective unless certain conditions are met.

Are immigrants more dependent upon the unemployment insurance program than native-born Canadians?

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Pages :
45-63

This study addresses the question of whether immigrants in general and relatively recent cohorts of immigrants in particular use the unemployment insurance program more extensively than native-born Canadians. For analytical purposes two databases — microdata from the 1981 and 1991 censuses — are merged. Multivariate logit regression analysis shows that after all factors are controlled for, immigrants in general had a lower probability of using UI than Canadians. When immigrants are disaggregated by cohort, ectric tests show that the cohort effects apparent in the raw dat are not statistically significant. All immigrants in general also received smaller amounts of UI dollar benefits than native-born Canadians.

Comprehensive Evaluation: The Intersection of Impact Evaluation and Social Accounting

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Pages :
65-84

Social accounting or "social auditing" has been recommended as an alternative to more traditional methods of evaluating certain types of social programs and the contributions of non-profit organizations. This article examines the similarities and differences between social accounting and more traditional types of evaluation as well as identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each. The contributions of each are incorporated in a framework of "comprehensive evaluation," wherein consideration is given to the program theory, costs of inputs (investment), research design for the attribution of effects, and an array of outputs (dependent variables) that are measured in either monetary or non-monetary terms.

Development and validation of a needs assessment model using stakeholders involved in a university program

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Pages :
85-102

In 1982, Guba and Lincoln outlined a needs assessment process based on a definition of need drawn from Kayfmann's (1972) concept of discrepancy and Scriven and Roth's (1978) view of significant benefit and state of dissatisfaction. However, this needs assessment process was never operationalized. The need for additions to this process has led to the development of a genuine needs assessment model and a validation process with five groups of stakeholders concerned or targeted by an undergraduate university nursing program in Canada. The model was validated using focus groups, questionnaires, the hermeneutical approach, and the magnitude estimation scaling method. The results show that some features of the model are more relevant than others, and respondents must be allowed to define their interpretation of the concept of need in order to clarify the process.

Vers un profil de sortie : l'actualisation linguistique et le perfectionnement du français (ALF/PDF)

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Pages :
103-116

The present study examined the current situation of language development programs (Actualisation linguistique et perfectionment du francais, ALF/PDF [French language upgrading]) to develop a readiness profile to assess student skills in communicating, learning, and cultural expression. The readiness profile, an overall and detailed assessment of student performance, can be used to guide and develop consistent conditions for the transfer of ALF/PDF students into the regular program.

Linking users' views with utilization processes in the evaluation of interactive software

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Pages :
117-140

Taking the users' viewpoints into account in evaluation is increasingly recommended. The rationale and methods of user-oriented approaches have been described in theoretical papers. Less often reported are critical and empirical observations on how evaluators should interpret users' views. In the case of information technology, users' views may b gathered for the purpose of both evaluation and development. This double function is best served when a theory-driven framework clarifies the processes underlying the utilization of technology. This article delves into empirical results stemming from an evaluation of an interactive software designed to support health promotion planning. The authors contend that users' viewpoints should be exploited in a meaningful manner, one that goes beyond a summation of the pros and cons and that explains why and how users make use of technology.

Evaluating Planning Bodies: Some First Steps from the District Health Council System

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Pages :
141-147

The sixteen district health councils (DHCs) in Ontario are mandated to provide advice to the Minister of Health on the health needs of residents in their respective districts. Like much of the broader public service, in recent years DHCs have come under increased pressure to prove their value. This practice note reviews the evaluation efforts of a small rural DHC and discusses some of the challenges facing the DHC system as a whole as it struggles to become more accountable.