CP Week: Susan Staggs on Promoting Active Collaboration among Researchers, Practitioners, and Community Members

Hi aea365ers! Susan Staggs here. I’m an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Stout, coordinator of an online graduate certificate program in Evaluation Studies, and incoming Program Director of our Master’s in Applied Psychology program, which includes a concentration in Evaluation Research. I write today on behalf of the American Evaluation Association’s Community Psychology Topical Interest Group (TIG). One of the principles we believe in is evaluation should be an “active collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and community members… undertaken to serve those community members directly concerned, and guided by their needs and preferences, as well as by their active participation.” With that in mind, I’ve chosen to highlight some wonderful community-oriented resources and organizations that have the potential to enrich your evaluations of community health initiatives by enhancing their explicit focus on community collaboration.

Rad Resource – The University of Kansas’ Community Toolbox: This amazing site offers practical, specific guidance for promoting community health and evaluating community health initiatives. There’s a whole slew of How-To Guides on topics such as stakeholder engagement and community assessment. There’s a Troubleshooting area for help solving problems such as dealing with disappointing evaluation results and unintended intervention effects. The Promising Approaches section highlights the latest evidence-based intervention research, while a Connect With Others area lets you ask questions of intervention experts. Specific guidance on Participatory Evaluation is available here, as is an Evaluation Model for Community Initiatives. A treasure trove, loved and respected by community evaluation practitioners.

Clipped from: ctb.ku.edu (share this clip)

Rad Resource – Community-Campus Partnerships for Health: Want to make sure you’re serving the community’s evaluation needs? This community advocacy organization, focused on social justice and equity in partnerships between communities and universities, can help you with that. They host conferences and training opportunities designed to promote equalization of power in collaborative work between community members and academics. A peer mentorship program for community representatives involved in work with academic partners is available, as is guidance on community-centered research ethics. There are many other valuable and practical resources available on the site as well; this is a fabulous site from a wonderful organization whose purpose is strongly rooted in community psychology values. They maintain a very active listserve on ethics in community-based participatory research.

We’re celebrating all this week with our colleagues in the American Evaluation Association Community Psychology Topical Interest Group. The contributions all week come from CP TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org.

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