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Title: Changing contexts of children and young people's participation in evaluation : case studies in Nepal and the UK
Author: Johnson, Vicky
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 3632
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is an examination of how significant features of context are linked to process in children’s participation in evaluation, using case study research. The cases vary in political and cultural contexts, institutional setting, timeframe and my own positionality in the evaluations. The rights-based evaluations revisited include: DFID funded Rights through Evaluation research in Nawalparasi in Nepal; evaluation of Phase 1 of the Saying Power scheme, run by Save the Children across the UK; and evaluation of the Croydon Children’s Fund in London. In addition to issues of context and timeframe, the cases were chosen for the author’s intimate knowledge of the evaluations, and access to participants who had been involved at different levels and roles. Issues of bias are therefore specifically addressed in the revisits and a dual approach of reflexivity and critical inquiry taken. The initial reflection builds on theoretical perspectives in children’s participation and historical perspectives of rightsbased approaches, providing a personal perspective that forms the basis of the questions for the critical inquiry. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with children and young people, project workers/ staff, and managers/ commissioners, all of whom previously participated in the evaluations. The critical inquiry was conducted in order to find out under what conditions participatory evaluation with children resulted in positive outcomes for children and transformational change. Critical realism, realist revisits and socio- and cultural ecological theories form the basis of a framework or model called ‘Change-scape’ that helped to explain the links between process and context in this thesis. How decision makers responded to children’s evidence depended on the context. Stratifications of context suggested in this analysis arose from realist revisits that incorporated external drivers, such as the political economy and dominant cultural practices, and internal drivers including the commitment and capacity of stakeholders in the evaluation process. Mechanisms of communication and collaboration were identified that helped to translate actions identified in the evaluations into outcomes for children and young people. Dimensions of power were also examined in terms of how they related to different aspects of the structure put forward. A final discussion reviews the progression from an emphasis on rights and individual behaviour change and action, to how context has to be taken into account to achieve more relational objectives that are incorporated in achieving improvements in children and young people’s wellbeing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: H Social Sciences (General)