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Volume 17, 2002 - Fall

Improving Social Policy With National Data: A Comparison Of Social Support For Students Among Canadian Provinces

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Pages :
1-26

The purpose of this study was to examine social support for students as it related to individual and provincial characteristics in Canada, with data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth and census data. The data included 7,648 students aged 8 to 11 years from 10 provinces. Factor analysis indicated two latent factors underlining social support for students: perceived personal support and perceived institutional support. Results of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) show that perceived personal support did not fluctuate with provincial characteristics. Students immigrated to Canada, from low socioecc status (SES), and with poor prosocial behavior perceived less personal support. Students in provinces with higher birth rates perceived less institutional support. SES and family size had strong effects on perceived institutional support in some provinces but weak effects in other provinces. Students from both-parent households, with emotional problems, and from large families perceived less institutional support.

The Temporal Logic Model Concept

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Pages :
27-47

The following article proposes an alternative program logic model based on the concepts of learning organizations and systems theory. The piece redefines time from a space or duration in which the preset program activities take place, to time as an evolutionary process in which the implementation of the program stimulates learning and adaptation. The latter concept of time was embedded into an alternative logic model, titled Temporal Logic Model (TLM). It provides a space for stakeholders to record changes in the program context, interim assessments, and program modifications in a format that requires periodic updates. The documentation of how and why the program changes over time should enhance the program's accountability as well as learning.

The Inclusion Of Stakeholders In Evaluation: Benefits And Drawbacks

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Pages :
49-58

At present the current trend in evaluation research is to include stakeholders in the evaluation process. Central to this trend is the belief that stakeholder involvement empowers the stakeholders, increases the utilization of results, and increases the validity of the evaluation. This study examines the theoretical foundation for this belief and examines empirical support. Conditions under which these benefits are realized are analyzed and compared to situations that fail to gain these benefits.

L'innovation sociale, une condition pour accroître la qualité de l'action en partenariat dans le champ de la santé publique

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Pages :
59-88

The effectiveness of participatory planning and partnership practices in the public health field is a neglected issue. While the literature contains a few studies of the meagre results of technocratic practices, we know little about the conditions under participatory approaches may be more likely to succeed. This article presents the results of a comparative study of four cases of participative regional planning in Montreal, focussing on the relation between the processes of participative planning and partnerships and the quality of the results obtained. It analyses the social relations and forms of collaboration between the actors in order to understand the processes leading to different outcomes, in terms of several measures of quality. This form of evaluation can contribute to improving partnership programs, since the results relate the specific dynamics of the participatory process to their degree of success.

New Partnerships Require New Approaches To Participatory Program Evaluations: Planning For The Future

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Pages :
89-102

Program evaluation is in a period of transition. There is a growing international recognition that government and civil society must work together to accomplish common goals. These new partnerships impact on evaluators because of the unequal distribution of power between the partners. Without careful consideration, the evaluator can be seen to represent only those with the most power. This, in turn, impacts on the perceived independence of evaluators. New partnerships require new approaches. Participatory program evaluation is one useful approach that can lessen undue influence by any one partner and can help to create a positive culture of evaluation.

Developing An Evaluation Habit Of Mind

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Pages :
103-119

In this paper, we use the psychological lens of motivation to argue that mandated evaluation requirements can serve as the impetus for accountability to become synonymous with organizational improvement. We offer evidence of how the processes and practices surrounding the use of data for wise decision making find intrinsically derived sustainability and become consolidated in an "evaluation habit of mind". Though exploratory in intent and not designed to be definitive, illustrations are provided from Canada's Manitoba School Improvement Program Inc. (MSIP) — an initiative designed to improve the learning experiences and outcomes of secondary school students through capacity building.

Evaluating Organizational Capacity Development

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Pages :
121-150

While substantial sums are being invested in the development of organizational and institutional capacities, the design and management of capacity development efforts leaves much to be desired. Few capacity development initiatives have been systematically and thoroughly evaluated. This paper describes the conceptual frameworks and methods used to evaluate a multi-site, regional capacity-development project in Latin America and the Caribbean undertaken to strengthen planning, monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) in agricultural research organizations. The report discusses some of the challenges facing capacity development and its evaluation, outlines the procedures employed, and illustrates these with some consolidated findings in response to four evaluation questions: What were the main contributions of the project to agricultural research management? How were the results achieved? What factors facilitated their achievement? and What lessons can we learn to improve future capacity development efforts and their evaluation?

Reviewing The Language Arts Program In A Large School District (Research and practice notes)

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Pages :
151-158

The paper describes a review of the Language Arts Program in the Primary Division of a large urban school district. Data were gathered from all stakeholders using surveys, interviews and observation. The evidence revealed limitations in the planning and delivery of Language Arts in the early years and provided the groundwork for remarkable system-wide change in the three years that followed.