PDF Empowering Green Initiatives with IT: A Strategy and Implementation Guide

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For example, if communication received a low rating and one of the reasons was because the group never had agendas for their meetings, then preparing agendas might become a recommended strategy in the planning for the future exercise. Many programs, projects, and evaluations fail at this stage for lack of individual and group accountability. They do not have to complete the task. However, they are responsible for taking the lead in a circumscribed area a specific goal and reporting the status of the effort periodically at ongoing management meetings.

Similarly, the group should make a commitment to reviewing the status of these new strategies as a group and be willing to make mid-course corrections if they are not working. Conventional and innovative evaluation tools are used to monitor the strategies, including online surveys, focus groups, interviews, as well as the use of a quasi-experimental design if appropriate. In addition, program specific metrics are developed, using baselines, benchmarks or milestones, and goals as deemed useful and appropriate.

For example, a minority tobacco prevention program empowerment evaluation in Arkansas has established:. Benchmarks or Milestones the number of people they expect to help stop using tobacco each month.

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Actual Performance they record the number of people they help to stop using tobacco and compare their figures with their goals and benchmarks to determine if they are making progress or need assistance. These metrics are used to help a community monitor program implementation efforts and enable program staff and community members to make mid-course corrections and substitute ineffective strategies for potentially more effective ones as needed. These data are also invaluable when the group conducts a second taking stock exercise 3 to 6 months later to determine if they are making progress towards their desired goals and objectives.

Additional metrics enable community members to compare, for example, their baseline assessments with their benchmarks or expected points of progress, as well as their goals. The ten-step approach is another useful tool and described in detail in Chinman, Imm, and Wandersman A sample of issues concerning the use of empowerment evaluation is presented below to provide additional conceptual clarity.

They range from the locus of control to the audience for empowerment evaluation and are briefly discussed below. People empower themselves. A common misconception about empowerment evaluation is that it empowers either individuals or groups. Empowerment evaluation simply provides the tools and environment conducive to empowering oneself. Objectivity and Advocacy.


Empowerment evaluation is transparent, brings bias to the surface, and generates meaningful data to inform decision making. These findings are used by staff, community members, and other relevant parties to advocate for their programs or communities as data merit. Consumer Focus. Consumers community members, program staff, and participants are the driving force or focus in empowerment evaluation. However, evaluators and donors remain an integral part of empowerment evaluation. Internal versus External Evaluation. Empowerment evaluation internal evaluation and traditional forms of evaluation typically external evaluation can be mutually reinforcing.

They are not mutually exclusive. However, it makes a strong contribution to accountability by cultivating internal accountability. This contribution remains long after an episodic and often anticipated external examination.


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Empowerment evaluations are typically more critical of their own programs than external examinations which are often influenced by their interest in returning for a follow-up or extended engagement. Empowerment evaluations provide people with a window of opportunity to address long-standing issues of dysfunction and inefficiency in their own organizations.

Empowerment evaluations are highly collaborative and participatory in nature. Empowerment evaluations are conducted within the context of what people are already being held accountable for in their communities or workplaces. This makes the entire process more credible and authentic. Empowerment evaluators believe that everyone can benefit from being more empowered. Additional points providing greater conceptual clarity, as well as additional discussion about methodological specificity and outcomes, are discussed in detail in the literature Fetterman, ; Fetterman and Wandersman, ; Fetterman and Wandersman, The book includes 10 empowerment evaluation principles, a number of models and tools to help put empowerment evaluation into practice, reflections on the history and future of the approach, and illustrative case studies from a number of different projects in a variety of diverse settings.

Cox, Dana Keener, Tifanee L. The process begins with preparing for the hiring and concludes with an assessment of an evaluation to ensure its sustainability. He provides deep insights into key steps in empowerment evaluation by exploring the way that each of these phases took place in the digital villages. Additionally, the text provides evaluators with real-world stories and practical advice from the front lines.

It was used specifically to help them assess their efforts and move their efforts forward, including building a repository of STEM and CS evaluation tools and instruments. They help people think critically about the world around them. Several of the presentations were expanded and published in the American Journal of Evaluation. In the spirit of dialogue, the authors respond to these and related comments. It includes prominent critical friends' comments about the 21st anniversary of the empowerment evaluation.

Highlights of this special edition include:. A case example. The blog includes links to videos, guides and relevant academic literature that provide a detailed analysis and discussion of using empowerment evaluation. Empowerment evaluation : This Wikipedia entry gives a concise overview of empowerment evaluation.

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Cousins, B. Will the real empowerment evaluation please stand up? A critical friend perspective. In Fetterman, D. Empowerment evaluation principles in practice. Donaldson, S. Dunst, C. Toward clarification of the meaning and key elements of empowerment. Fetterman, D.

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