Measuring Community Development Outcomes: In Search of an Analytical Framework
A consensus has evolved that the outcomes of local community development organizations are not amenable to traditional evaluation methods and that local self-learning versus knowledge production is a necessary concession. A documentary review and interviews with the principals at national grant and policy-making organizations are undertaken to deconstruct this outcome measurement impasse. Basic criteria for an analytical framework to measure community development outcomes are suggested both to clarify the current institutional mindset and suggest an alternative approach. Available empirical data from practitioner interviews and existing social theory provide the basis for a conceptual understanding and an analytical framework to guide the systematic evaluation of community development initiatives.
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