Participatory evaluation of mental health day centres in the city of Rome: a project analysis

The contribution aims to analyse the project Participatory evaluation of Mental Health Day Centres in Rome using as a key to interpretation the criteria proposed by Guba and Lincoln (1989) within the framework of Fourth Generation Evaluation. The project was implemented by Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies (National Research Council) and commissioned by the Department of Social Policies of Rome. It began in 2004 and was concluded in March 2010. The aims of the project were: to build up skills and tools to evaluate the work done, promote the role of the day centres within the service network and the district, and support the motivation and project skills of the health and social workers. The project has involved 26 semi-residential social health services. Several stakeholders participated, including: 40 managers, 95 practitioners, 80 users, and 60 family members. It entailed the implementation of several different evaluation processes regarding: quality of the services, organization, representations of the service, the planning of activities, training, communication and the sharing of results and products. The project analysis will be based on the authenticity criteria proposed by Guba and Lincoln: fairness cuts across the entire project; ontological authenticity and educative authenticity refer in particular to the explicit statement and comparison of the stakeholders views on quality and the mission; catalytic authenticity may be traced through the changes in the Centres planning modality and in the relationship with the other services and the district; tactical authenticity refers to the empowerment of the team of the Department (commissioning agency) and the Centre practitioners. The proposed analysis will highlight benefits and risks involved in a participatory evaluation project, and will discuss also the complexity of the evaluative design, which is built up through a comparison among the different stakeholders, and the importance of the temporal dimension.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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Evaluation in the Public Interest: Participation, Politics and Policies, pp. 190–190, Praga, 6-8 ottobre 2010
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Ritratto di Elisa Colì
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