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Durham e-Theses
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Realising the potential of community work in local government: a guide to evaluation

Dilworth, John (1992) Realising the potential of community work in local government: a guide to evaluation. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is a discourse on approaches and methods for reliably observing, recording and demonstrating the effectiveness of community work taking place in local government. Consideration is given to current trends in local government and several key issues facing community work in that setting. A definition of community work is proposed with relevant typologies of community work to establish the context for the remainder of the thesis. Relevant approaches towards evaluation are examined with ways in which those approaches can be converted into abstract evaluation models specific to the programme being evaluated. The discussion illustrates how these evaluation models can be adapted into evaluation designs, providing a practical framework for carrying out an evaluation and the methods that will be employed. The importance of theory is discussed together with the development of relevant, testable hypotheses. This is described as a thinking stage which precedes consideration of appropriate ways of assembling, analysing and reporting the evaluation findings. Evaluation is presented as an "improving" not a "proving" activity, an inventive not a routine process. The conclusions assert that evaluation is beneficial to community work by providing a collection of preferred approaches and methods that can reliably clarify the nature, purpose and outcome of community work. Moreover, evaluation is a collaborative, flexible and adaptive means of instilling the discipline of thinking about community work, and of fostering among community workers a desire to learn from contemporary practice in realising the full potential of their work.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Dec 2012 12:01

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