Issues in evaluating the community benefits of social interventions

Toleman, Mark and Blake, Jacqueline (2014) Issues in evaluating the community benefits of social interventions. In: Community capacity building: lessons from adult learning in Australia. NIACE, Leicester, United Kingdom, pp. 193-204. ISBN 978-1-86201-722-1

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The current economic environment ensures that the demand for pub­lic and private funds for social initiatives is increasing at a time when the availability of funds for such programs is decreasing. Funding bod­ies have a duty to ensure that the funds they expend on social change programs are well spent and not just from the perspective of financial audit - increasingly they require evaluation of the program for its effect on social change. Funding bodies wish to gauge the public value of their social spend in particular before committing to further funding. Program evaluation is not a trivial exercise but it is often not front and centre in the minds of the program designers. One of the means of ensuring that this public value from social programs is measured is to build evalua­tion mechanisms into a program's design. For social programs one of the constructs that can provide boundaries for this evaluation is the concept of community - and in this chapter the focus is on community capacity. However, setting the parameters for evaluating a community's capacity is difficult, although various parameters have been investigated in the past. This issue and others that are related - such as the difficulty of decid­ing the boundaries of a community and the desired timeframe available for evaluation - are discussed in this chapter. In addition, the current practice of social program evaluation, as described by examples in this collection, is considered.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version restricted in accordance with publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 01:25
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 04:59
Uncontrolled Keywords: community engagement; social program evaluation; government funding
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160807 Sociological Methodology and Research Methods
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160512 Social Policy
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940107 Comparative Structure and Development of Community Services

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