Does a program work? What is the value? How do we know? These are questions that keep evaluators up at night. Continued rural community funding, employment, health, and justice depend on our answers to these questions. For evaluators working in rural communities, the task is great, but the return is even greater. Now more than ever before, evaluators have an opportunity to impact social change in rural America.
Beginning with an introduction of rural community evaluation, Evaluation in Rural Communities highlights the differences in approaches to evaluation in rural areas, supported by case studies that illustrate key themes and objectives. It explores a number of issues, including
• cost–benefit analysis
• rural community evaluation as a platform to support social change.
In particular, readers will also learn how to overcome rural community challenges, such as limited resources, the digital divide, limited funding, lower employment and educational attainment, limited opportunities for social interactions, and the distrust of outsiders.
Blending aspects of community-based participatory research, empowerment evaluation, and program evaluation methods, this book is an accessible yet nuanced guide that integrates critical thinking, problem solving, social and political contexts, and outcomes related to evidence-based evaluation.