The 2009 Nelson Chair Roundtable on Networking Community Based Programs was held at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education on April 17 & 18, 2009. Participants included administrators and expert consultants from 8 community and youth programs across the country. Community leaders, educators, students, and other resource people were in attendance. Dr. Anderson J. Franklin, Honorale David S. Nelson Professional Chair, moderated the discussions.
The 2009 Roundtable program included updates from a number of programs on recent accomplishments and struggles. During the presentations, think-tank sessions, and informal brainstorming, a common theme emerged:
Due to the economic climate in 2009, funding cuts were a major issue facing all programs. As such, programs experienced immense pressure to conduct evaluations in order to provide empirical documentation of program effectiveness, thus enhancing the likelihood of continued and/or increased financial support from funders. The group focused on three primary topics:
- Qualitative Evaluation: Concerns & Recommendations
- Participatory Action Research (PAR) as an Evaluative Tool
- Applying a PAR Approach to Evaluating the Roundtable as an Intervention