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ERIC Number: EJ1083955
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
A Youth Development Approach to Evaluation: Critical Participatory Action Research
Zeller-Berkman, Sarah; Muñoz-Proto, Carolina; Torre, María Elena
Afterschool Matters, n22 p24-31 Fall 2015
Across the U.S., youth development approaches are being tested in out-of-school time programs as a strategy to combat the growing opportunity gap between privileged and underprivileged youth (Gardner, Roth, & Brooks-Gunn, 2009). Along with increased recognition of the value of youth development programming has come increased financial support (Padgette, 2003; Zeller-Berkman, 2010). This investment, in turn, brings increased pressure to continually prove to funders that youth development programs affect student outcomes (Zeller-Berkman, 2010). The increased emphasis on accountability has sometimes forced community-based organizations (CBOs) to maintain a myopic focus on outcomes that are easily measurable but not necessarily the most important (Fusco, Lawrence, Matloff-Nieves, & Ramos, 2013). Underfunded nonprofits can feel overwhelmed by the intense emphasis on producing "evidence-based" outcomes, especially if evaluation feels like an "add-on" rather than being aligned with and integrated into program goals. This article raises up critical participatory action research and youth participatory evaluation as possible answers to this challenge. It explores how five programs use critical participatory action research and youth participatory evaluation to engage youth and improve program delivery. These trailblazing organizations illuminate the possibilities and challenges of using approaches to research and evaluation that reflect youth development principles and practices.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A