YFE Week: Kim Sabo Flores and David White on Youth Focused Evaluation: One Year And Growing Strong!

Hello, my name is Kim Sabo Flores (Evaluation Access) and I am David White (Oregon State University).  We are the co-chairs of the Youth Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group (YFE TIG).  The YFE TIG is an inclusive and participatory space for all evaluators, of any age. The YFE TIG focuses attention on the practices, and outcomes of positive youth development and participation in a wide array of informal and formal contexts; encourages youth and adult researchers and evaluators to highlight promising practices and methods; and promotes the development and use of tools and methods leading to practical and transformative outcomes for young people. We are proud to announce our one-year anniversary, with a membership 400 strong.  To kick off year-two, we are excited to host this week’s AEA 365 blog posts.

The theme for the week is Youth Participation in Evaluation: A Radical Transformation.  The production and ownership of “knowledge” has historically been limited to adult researchers and evaluators. This is particularly notable when the “knowledge” being produced pertains directly to youth’s own experiences. This week the YFE TIG will explore a broader understanding and practice of “knowledge production” that is created by and with youth and adult allies and that promotes the ongoing development of adults, youth, and “communities.”

You will read blogs by innovative evaluators in this growing field who offer hot tips and rad resources that will help you create successful youth focused evaluations.  Each of the authors seeks to redefine youth’s role in evaluation, moving them from subjects to be studied to resources worthy of development and active equal partnership.

Hot Tip: We suggest that you check out The Article 15 Project. This website was created to support the capacities of children and young people around the world to self-organize and fulfill their rights, in partnership with adults.  Currently this website hosts the most recent literature on and tools for child-led groups.

Rad Resources: Download the Article 15 Resource Kit. This kit provides step-by-step tools for engaging children and youth in the assessment of their organizational structure.  Specifically, these tools are designed to help adults reflect on their roles and responsibilities within youth and child-led organizations; and support young members to assess their decision-making and management structures, and their inclusion/exclusion policies and practices. Additionally, the toolkit provides a module that helps children and youth learn how to effectively develop and manage resources.

Rad Resources: Looking for guidance in developing Logic Models for your youth-led initiatives? Visit http://cyfernetsearch.org/node/421. This web-based Logic Model builder provides step-by-step processes to build models, identify common measures, and build surveys.

Please join us, as we continue to advance our conversations from Minneapolis at AEA 2013. We look forward to seeing you in Washington D.C.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Youth Focused Evaluation (YFE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the YFE Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our YFE 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. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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