The Realities of Stakeholders’ Evaluation Experiences in a Low-Resourced Nonprofit Organization: A Phenomenological Study

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Title: The Realities of Stakeholders’ Evaluation Experiences in a Low-Resourced Nonprofit Organization: A Phenomenological Study
Authors: Peddle, Beth
Date: 2016
Abstract: Program evaluation is important for improving the activities and services of nonprofit organizations. However, the emphasis on program evaluation has created new challenges and uncertainties for nonprofit organizations. These concerns of evaluation capacity, quality and use are of particular importance in nonprofit contexts where resources are already stretched, and where staff size and capacity are limited. As such, this research study focuses on a specific niche of the nonprofit sector, exploring how stakeholders experience program evaluation in a nonprofit organization, which (a) operates exclusively in one region, (b) is low-resourced, and (c) identifies as providing educational services to a specific community. Using a phenomenological approach to study program evaluation, the study is informed by Colaizzi’s phenomenological approach to explore stakeholders’ lived experience of evaluation in this context. The findings suggest that several components are shared among participants. Their experience is described by four themes (1) rushed and pressed for time; (2) some good will come: a sense of optimism; (3) perceived inadequacy of evaluation; and (4) dedicated, but alone and isolated. From the phenomenological analysis, three underlying contextual factors of this shared experience also emerged, including dependence on the granting system, a suboptimal structure, and individuals’ backgrounds and training. In all, this study offers contributions to evaluation practice, theory and methodological development by studying program evaluation in a rarely examined context, and by contributing empirical data about program evaluation using a methodology that has rarely been used in this domain.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/34188
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-5305
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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