Research Handbook on Community Development
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Research Handbook on Community Development

Edited by Rhonda Phillips, Eric Trevan and Patsy Kraeger

This timely Research Handbook offers new ways in which to navigate the diverse terrain of community development research. Chapters unpack the foundations and history of community development research and also look to its future, exploring innovative frameworks for conceptualizing community development. Comprehensive and unequivocally progressive, this is key reading for social and public policy researchers in need of an understanding of the current trends in community development research, as well as practitioners and policymakers working on urban, rural and regional development.
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Chapter 12: Enhancing evaluation capacity: lessons from faith-based community development in El Salvador

James G. Huff Jr.

Abstract

Across Latin America, faith-based organizations (FBOs) have become key agents in the creation, management and implementation of a wide array of community and economic development programs (Hefferan et al., 2009). Empirical research documenting how these organizations actually carry out their efforts remains relatively sparse; and even less is known about how FBOs ordinarily evaluate the processes and programs that comprise the community change interventions they implement. This chapter reflects on the efforts of a team of researchers, community development practitioners, and residents of rural communities in El Salvador to develop and sustain a program of evaluation research for community development initiatives. The discussion details the challenges that team members confronted in trying to build the evaluation capacities of a Salvadoran FBO, and it highlights how they adapted the purposes and processes of evaluation in order to increase the involvement of community stakeholders in planning and carrying out research.

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