Empowering communities to create change
We believe the best research partnerships are based in a deep respect for the communities and people working to affect change. Using a range of methods, we seek to enhance stakeholder capacity and impart new tools and skills for their future use. Empowerment evaluation seeks to “increase the likelihood that programs will achieve results by increasing the capacity of program stakeholders to plan, implement, and evaluate their own programs” (Wandersman & Snell-Johns, 2005). Essentially, empowerment evaluation is integrated into the planning and management of programs and organizations so that stakeholders define, lead, and appraise their efforts with the support of a “critical friend.”We utilize the three-step approach to empowerment evaluation, guided by the 10 core principles, consisting of supporting the 1) creation of a group mission, 2) assessment of needs and assets, and finally 3) planning for the future (Fetterman, 2015).
- We strive to produce scientifically rigorous and ethical research that is responsive to communities.
- We maintain a supportive and positive environment where all opinions are equally heard, valued, and respected.
- We are committed to consensus building and joint decision-making.
- We communicate clearly, openly, and with integrity.
- We embrace professional, constructive, and thoughtful discourse that stimulates innovation, creativity, and expertise.
- We value individual learning and growth through shared expertise and professional development.