A theory-based evaluation of a community-based funding scheme in a disadvantaged suburban city area
Community-driven development (CDD) initiatives frequently involve funding schemes which are aimed at channelling financial investment into local need and fostering community participation and engagement. This exploratory study examined, through a program theory approach, the design and implementation of a small-scale, community-based fund in Ireland. Observations, documentary analysis, interviews and group discussions with 19 participants were utilized to develop a detailed understanding of the program mechanisms, activities and processes, as well as the experiences of key stakeholders engaged with the funding scheme and its implementation. The findings showed that there were positive perceptions of the scheme and its function within the community. Overall, the availability of funding was perceived by key stakeholders as being beneficial. However, there were concerns over the accessibility of the scheme for more marginalized members of the community, as well as dissatisfaction with the openness and transparency surrounding funding eligibility. Lessons for the implementation of small-scale CDD funds are elaborated and the utility of program theory approaches for evaluators and planners working with programs that fund community-based initiatives is outlined.
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Volume (Year): 52 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
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