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Title: The centrality of process in articulations of accountability in training programmes for young people
Author: Devanney, Carol Ann
ISNI:       0000 0001 3422 8984
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2006
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The context for this work is training programmes for young people aged 16-18 who were previously disengaged from mainstream provisions. This work critically explores assumptions in social policy discourses in relation to social exclusion and disengaged young people and the aceountability mechanisms which govern training programmes based on successful transition to education, employment or training. Young people have been placed at the centre of this study to engage them in the research process in a participatory way using visual methods, over a two-year period. This approach highlighted that young people gave priority to relationships with workers and often related their progression to the development of confidence, aspects currently concealed through accountability mechanisms. Furthermore, observations of programmes and interviews with workers confirmed the significance of recognising both process and wider social context to develop understandings of the performance of programmes. The central arguments emerging from this work consider the contradictions between the bespoke programme to address complex needs identified in policy discourses and what becomes of value in accountability mechanisms. Fundamentally, policy inteiwentions are based on assumptions of young people which may not provide an accurate starting point for the programmes and which may then create unrealistic targets. This is further complicated by the way in which programmes have to account for their performance which relies on aggregated levels of understanding of programmes and oversimplified definitions of success or failure. While this work has eommunicated the significance of process to develop enhanced understanding about the performance of programmes it also recognises that this is not unproblematie. This work suggests the development of a process-based model of accountability in practice, to inform the current approach, and communicate understandings of programmes that reflect the realities of practice and young people's experiences. This involves young people as 'active participants' in accounting for their development on the programmes and a shift towards thinking about accountability as a process of learning rather than one of scrutiny and control.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available