At this years Community Media Association conference I will be taking a couple of minutes to speak about how we can build a stronger and more active research community associated with the work of the Community Media Association. The main consideration for evidence gatherng is how we identify, evaluate and dissemeninate the social value of what we do with comunity media, it’s social impact and the difference that community media can make.
We already have strong support from accademics and researchers across the UK (and beyond), who have been undertaking research and evaluation work that informs social policy, funding projects and provides a legacy for our work. I’ll be looking at how we can extend and embed this network more formally, and how we can bring some of our colleagues who are working in community development, digital transformation, social and economic sustainability, as well as challenging social practices that keep people excluded from local or national debates.
A useful set of tools to help with models of evaluation can be found on Better Evaluation site
In this report, Jo Hall identifies the need to understand how research can be implemented in a timely and non-resource intensive way. Jo identifies how evaluation tools should consider how they are:
- Clear on the purpose and questions and making use of the information.
- Apply fit-for-purpose methods in fit-for purpose ways.
- Adopt methods and approaches that address complexity.
- Consider the needs of all partners, including locally.
- Capture the distinctive contribution of the NGOs.
- Are not overly complicated, technocratic or exacerbating fragmentation.
- Have adequate resourcing to meet the purpose.
So, if you are around on conference day, we’ll make some time to meet and talk about how we can develop the research potential of our work. Afterall, if we don’t have any valid and verifiable evidence, we won’t be able to make our case.