Implementing Concept Mapping Techniques in the Evaluation of Comprehensive Community Initiatives

Sanjeev Sridharan, Caliber Associates

ABSTRACT
One of the key challenges in the evaluations of comprehensive community initiatives is incorporating the diversity of goals among the varied stakeholders. We describe the utility of concept mapping techniques to develop an outcome measurement framework. Such a framework examines the differences in stakeholder perceptions both within and across the multiple sites. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis methods are used in the generation of the concept maps. We demonstrate the utility of concept mapping in evaluations of community initiatives using two examples: first, we demonstrate how concept mapping techniques can be used inductively to develop a logic model. In the second, we show how these techniques can be used to transition from process to impact analysis. Methodological extensions to the concept mapping techniques include methods to incorporate the linkages between the various concepts.

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Updated 05/20/2006