1st Edition

Evaluation in Rural Communities

By Allyson Kelley Copyright 2019
    216 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    216 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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

    • sustainability

    • policy

    • 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.

    Chapter 1. An Introduction to Evaluation in Rural Communities ? Chapter 2. Context of Rural Community Evaluation Chapter 3. Cultural Competence in Evaluation Chapter 4. Evaluation Approaches, Models, Designs Chapter 5. The Rural Community Evaluation Process Chapter 6. How to Collect and Analyze Data in Rural Communities ? Chapter 7. Documenting the Process, Outcome/ Impact and Economic Program Evaluation Chapter 8. Reporting and Application of Rural Evaluation Findings Chapter 9. Practical Issues for Rural Evaluators Chapter 10. Sustainability and Final Thoughts for Rural Evaluators Appendix A Logic Model Appendix B Evaluation Data Collection Appendix C Institutional Review Boards Appendix D Forms and Examples


    Allyson Kelley is an Evaluation Scientist with interests in building communities' capacities to address the cultural, social, and environmental factors that contribute differences in health. She has numerous peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and unpublished evaluation reports that highlight her work in rural America. Her efforts have resulted in the funding and implementation of several successful programs aimed at building the capacity to address disparities using a strength-based approach.

    “Kelley’s book is a significant contribution to the field. As the gap between rural and urban experiences widens, exacerbated by the forces of modernization and globalization, Evaluation in Rural Communities offers a crucial framework for engaging with the rural imagination and ensuring that rural voices are heard and honored in evaluative discourses.” – Jeremy Braithwaite, American Journal of Evaluation