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Faith-based evaluation: Accountable to whom, for what?

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  • O'Connor, Mary Katherine
  • Netting, F. Ellen
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    Abstract

    Findings, issues, and lessons learned about program evaluation are examined from a national qualitative study of 15 faith-based human service programs targeting those in need in urban areas. Using a grounded theory design, five properties emerge as part of the evaluation network: (1) philosophy of accountability, (2) legitimacy, (3) evaluation design, (4) feedback loop, and (5) barriers to evaluation. While funders expect measurable outcomes to evaluate service effectiveness, respondents acknowledge other competing expectations of multiple constituents in religious and secular communities. What emerges is an excellent example of managing multiple program evaluation demands in programs that are particularly facile at process evaluation in the interest of quality service and relationship building. The article concludes with important lessons learned about the process of program evaluation.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V7V-4SHMCHM-1/2/58b99339b1ffe559d9aa1d80d8683b15
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Evaluation and Program Planning.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 347-355

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:31:y:2008:i:4:p:347-355

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/evalprogplan

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    Keywords: Faith-based Program evaluation Accountability;

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    1. Christie, Christina A. & Montrosse, Bianca E. & Klein, Brock M., 2005. "Emergent design evaluation: A case study," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 271-277, August.
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