English

This article describes a large-scale federal program evaluation which employed empowerment strategies in its design and implementation. Bandura's concept of group efficacy is important for empowerment evaluation and can enhance ownership of an evaluation by identifying conditions that foster powerlessness and removing them through good evaluation practice. Conger and Kanungo's five-stage empowerment process is described in relation to the evaluation of the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program which provides food supplementation, nutrition counselling, support, education, referral, and lifestyle counselling to pregnant women at risk who are likely to have babies of unhealthy birth weight. Specific strategies described include the use of visual metaphor, participant generation of survey items, variable survey design to meet stakeholder needs, decentralized evaluation funds, use of an evaluation help line, and different levels of evaluation reporting. Early examples of empowerment outcomes are provided in terms of program improvement and heightened community awareness and ownership of program goals.

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Pages
179-192
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