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Evaluation and Documentation working group Draft Framework

Task 1- Evaluating planning process

The key goal here is to assess the process of planning the USSF and mobilizing key constituencies into the process.

General Orienting Questions The following questions are broad categories of investigation. Each may generate further sub-questions, which may be added to this wiki.

  • How successful was the process at integrating voices of most marginalized/ excluded groups?
  • How effective was the process at expanding participation in the USSF from new constituencies?
  • What constituencies remain under-represented, or who do we need to reach out to more to achieve the aims of the USSF?
  • How well did the process serve the aim of supporting and helping build the capacities of local organizations in the host city?
  • How effective was the process at fostering effective political conversations and development of shared understandings if not visions?
  • Did the Detroit USSF process help expand international solidarity and collaboration?
  • What sort of changes will improve the organization of the next USSF and help us better achieve our movement-building goals? [i.e., timing of the process, structure of the NPC, working group structure & processes, outreach, communications, etc.]

Data collection

  • Administer surveys at OC and NPC site –draw from Jan. 2010
  • Focus groups/interviews with staff, OC [Pre-USSF; post-USSF]
  • Use wiki site to solicit feedback/comments on Working Groups/ process/ etc. or “what to do/ not do next time…”

Task 2—Documenting the Detroit US Social Forum The aim here is to collect a record what happens at the Detroit USSF and to provide decentralized opportunities for participants to contribute to the work of documenting the Social Forum.

  • Use wiki site to collect reports and video (e.g., like Indymedia structure) from the general public;
  • Collect as much demographic information as possible about participants in USSF—ideally through a online registration form opt-in or at registration check-in;
  • Carry out survey during USSF [U of California-Riverside team is conducting survey]
  • Systematic observation of workshops [multi-campus-scholar-collaboration team]
  • Use People’s University of the USSF [1] as organizing space to coordinate data collection/archiving; and reporting;
  • Coordinate research team plan for collecting and recording systematic observation and interview data at the USSF;

Task 3—Analysis and Evaluation The aim is to draw from evidence collected on the USSF and collect additional interviews to develop comprehensive evaluations of the USSF process and its effectiveness in carrying out the 2nd US Social Forum.

  • Volunteer research team will compile report on the USSF drawing from both general database and from systematic observation and interview research;
  • Research team will conduct follow-up interviews after USSF
  • Research team will consult with NPC and provide evaluation report(s) based on NPC and Working Group needs
  • The People’s University of the USSF [2] space can be used to provide report(s) and space for dialogue/commentary on results.

Evaluation will address USSF’s success in terms of its stated aims to:

1) Contribute to movement-building in the United States by:
Strengthening local capacity to improve social conditions,
Advancing social movements agenda for action and transformation
Building stronger relationships and collaboration between movements
2) Support organizing and movement building in Detroit
3) Create a space for social movement convergence and strategic discussion
4) Deepen our commitment to international solidarity and common struggle
(Based on USSF Vision and Goals Statement);

In light of these goals, the following will help us identify indicators or measures of USSF effectiveness:

  • Its success at generating media coverage and general public awareness of Social Forum issues/agendas/ activities;
  • Its effectiveness at mobilizing and coordinating logistics of the Social Forum event;
  • Its effectiveness at developing a sustainable coordinating structure that represents the constituencies the USSF and WSF process aims to reach;
  • Its contribution to the collective learning process of participating movements and the World Social Forums: i.e., what does the Detroit USSF have to contribute to the larger USSF and WSF process?