The program under analysis is the Long Beach HOPE project. The project aimed at empowering Cambodian adolescents and facilitate their integration into the community (Cheatham-Rojas and Shen 122). In order to evaluate this program, it is possible to use the participatory approach as it can help researchers assess all the major aspects of the intervention (see table 1). The participatory approach is instrumental in identifying the participants’ views concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the project (Israel et al. 4). The evaluator is aware of all the details concerning the program, which is also beneficial for the process of evaluation. It is possible to develop three propositions to evaluate the program mentioned above.
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Table 1. Traditional and Participatory Evaluation.
|Internal Evaluation||External Evaluation|
|Participatory Evaluation||All stakeholders’ views are considered. The evaluator participates in the intervention.||The external evaluator measures the effectiveness of the program and takes up certain roles. The evaluator can be biased as they take part in the intervention and collaborate with other participants.|
|Non-participatory Evaluation||The evaluation of the major outcomes for the participants is carried out.||External researchers evaluate the outcomes of the intervention in terms of its effects on the participants and the community (Duran et al. 45). Their opinions are not biased in any way.|
The first proposition is to encourage the participants to develop the survey questions that will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. This proposition is consistent with the program’s goal as girls will feel empowered. These questions will also reflect the girls’ expectations. The researcher should also try to involve the community in the assessment process. Therefore, the second proposition will be associated with the role of the community. The people who took part in various activities should share their views on the outcomes of the intervention and the changes they expected. This proposition is consistent with the goals concerning the girls’ integration into society. This process will also involve close collaboration between different stakeholders, which is associated with taking into account different groups’ interests, discussion, and improvement (Becker et al. 82). The third proposition involves the concept of leadership. The evaluator can come up with their narratives as participants and researchers. These two narratives will help identify strengths, gaps, and weaknesses of the intervention.
The participatory and traditional approaches are both valuable methodologies. However, the former strategy can be beneficial for the HOPE program as it would unveil the major strengths of the intervention and help make it applicable in other settings. The advantage of the participatory approach is its collaborative nature (Minkler and Wallerstein 8). Evaluators and participants, as well as all the stakeholders involved, can share their views and expectations and improve the intervention. The major disadvantage of the participatory methodology is that evaluators can become biased and fail to see the larger picture. The strength of the traditional approach is associated with the objective view on many aspects. The researcher can remain impartial and focus on some measurable variables. However, the major weakness of this methodology is that the evaluator is unaware of numerous details and processes, as well as such aspects as people’s views on the program, their feelings, expectations, hopes, and so on. I chose the participatory evaluation as I believe that all aspects of programs should be taken into account. These areas include particular outcomes, people’s views and attitudes, ways used to collaborate with different groups, etc.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the participatory approach can be used to evaluate the efficiency of the Long Beach HOPE project. The project aims at empowering Cambodian girls and making communities more open. The view of the girls and their participation in the evaluation can be central to the evaluation process.
Becker, Adam B., et al. “Strategies and Techniques for Effective Group Process in CBPR Partnerships.” Methods for Community-Based Participatory Research for Health, edited by Meredith Minkler and Nina Wallerstein, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, pp. 69-97.
Cheatham-Rojas, Ann, and Eveline Shen. “CBPR with Cambodian Girls in Long Beach, California: A Case Study.” Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: From Process to Outcomes, edited by Meredith Minkler and Nina Wallerstein, Jossey-Bass, 2008, pp. 121-136.
Duran, Bonnie, et al. “Developing and Maintaining Partnerships with Communities.” Methods for Community-Based Participatory Research for Health, edited by Meredith Minkler and Nina Wallerstein, John Wiley & Sons, 2012, pp. 43-68.
Minkler, Meredith, & Nina Wallerstein. “Introduction to CBPR: New Issues and Emphases.” Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: From Process to Outcomes, edited by Meredith Minkler and Nina Wallerstein, Jossey-Bass, 2008, pp. 5-24.