Empowering Stakeholders Though Web-Based Technologies

The goal of my learning circle is to gather a group of evaluators together who are interested in discovering ways to use the internet to empower stakeholders in their evaluation projects. By stakeholders, each evaluator may refer to a different kind of stakeholder group. One evaluator may refer to decision-makers in a program, another evaluator may refer to clients of the program, etc.

During the course of the learning cicle, I will ask the participating evaluators to create a website for a project they are currently working on or that they are planning to begin. The websites will be designed to bring the stakeholders that the evaluator targets closer into the decision making process for the project.

For the project that I will work on as a member of the learning circle, my target stakeholders will be parents of children with mental health conditions in a high-poverty, rural region. The internet has been shown to be an effective mechanism for supporting family care providers in rural areas. However, my families are very complicated, and may not have much experience being successful with any form of written material.

Thus, as I have been putting my learning circle together, I have reflected a great deal so far on things that present barriers to website use and things that facilitate website use. My goal is to make my learning circle website a kind of an experimental place where I can try different ways of making things easier for my ultimate project. Some of the barriers I am trying to overcome are listed here.

To the right is the home page for my learning circle website. Here are some of the things I have tried so far.