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Program evaluation in a cross-cultural context: Action research, program logic and youth justice in Thailand

Willis, Matthew J. and Tomison, Adam M. (2014). Program evaluation in a cross-cultural context: Action research, program logic and youth justice in Thailand. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts,(14):128-142.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB248
Title Program evaluation in a cross-cultural context: Action research, program logic and youth justice in Thailand
Author Willis, Matthew J.
Tomison, Adam M.
Journal Name Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social contexts
Publication Date 2014
Issue Number 14
ISSN 1329-1440   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 128
End Page 142
Total Pages 15
Place of Publication Darwin, NT, Australia
Publisher Social Partnerships in Learning Research Consortium - Learning Research Group, Charles Darwin University
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Using the evaluation of a multi-faceted juvenile justice project as a case study, we demonstrate how applying an action research approach to program logic development provided a way of arriving at shared understandings of evaluation in a cross-cultural, cross-language context. The paper explores work undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology for the Thailand Department of Juvenile Justice and Observation to support the evaluation of the Justice for Our Youth (JOY) project, a complex project aimed at improving outcomes for young offenders by improving the quality of service offered by the Department. We describe a workshop conducted in Thailand where the authors provided capacity-building for Thai officials in program monitoring and evaluation and then worked with the officials to apply the learning from this part of the workshop to developing program logic models and identifying data and information needs for the JOY program evaluation. The utility of Participatory Action Research (PAR) and program logic approaches to working in a cross-cultural, cross-language context are discussed and their application to other cross-cultural situations is considered. The authors conclude that PAR can provide a valuable and appropriate model for establishing mutual understanding and trust in such contexts, but also recognise that the realities of difference and distance can reduce the ability of evaluators to apply PAR in a way that represents best practice.
Keywords Cross cultural program logic
Participatory action research
Cross ultural evaluation
Multilingual evaluation
Juvenile justice evaluation
Juvenile Justice Reform Project
Justice for Our Youth project
Additional Notes This article has been extracted from Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts, Issue 14, September 2014. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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http://www.cdu.edu.au/northern-institute/lcj


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