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An Exploration into the Use of A Technology enabled Platform to Support Dialog for Program Evaluation

Niamh Brannigan

Summary: Dialog for Outcome Mapping is traditionally carried out by development organizations in face-to-face settings. Engaging in group dialog is the third learning activity after self-assessment and reflection that completes the Outcome Mapping program evaluation process. Dialog is also the most critical of the three learning activities. Through it, stakeholders can be brought to an elevated understanding of their programs. This in turn can lead to better program planning. The Outcome Mapping Community has not documented any experience of engaging in dialog for program evaluation through a Technology Enabled Platform. This study explores the use of a Technology Enabled Platform with multiple synchronous communication affordances to build a dialog container for program evaluation. Specifically this study examines how a Technology Enabled Platform can be manipulated to overcome traditional barriers to dialog. The study then examines how a Technology Enabled Platform can enable the exploration of assumptions and the building of shared meaning and mutual understanding through a dialog container. The study is conducted in an international development organization where program evaluations are being conducted with internal stakeholders’ i.e. program
managers. Twelve internal stakeholders are purposefully invited to participate in the study. Four of the twelve
internal stakeholders build the dialog container and facilitate the program evaluation process. They are both internal stakeholders and moderators and organizers of dialog for program evaluation. The researcher is among these four. The internal stakeholders are made aware that their interactions in the dialog container as part of the program evaluation process are being recorded and observed. Qualitative data is gathered in the form of mp3 files from four program evaluation meetings held in the dialog container on a Technology Enabled Platform. Minutes of meetings; memos; two post Program Evaluation Meeting questionnaires, and an impromptu conversation are also used as data. The results show that a Technology Enabled Platform with multiple synchronous communication affordances can be used to create a dialog container for the exploration of assumptions and the creation of shared meaning and mutual understanding. Results also tentatively show that this can lead to better program planning through an elevated understanding of the issues common to
programs. While a Technology Enabled Platform can also be used to overcome barriers to dialog, it is the Program Evaluation organizers who also act as moderators, who have the greatest influence over whether barriers can be overcome through skillful facilitation and detachment.

Type: Theses

Theme: OM Resources: Books and Articles

Contibuted by: Sana Shams, on: 12 Apr 2017

Downloads: 70

Download resource (pdf 2193 KB)

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