On this page we are in the process of summarizing and formulating our approach towards self-evaluation; as a community with strong principles, where we engage in open participation and advocacy in our partner communities, this process is not that of a typical researcher/participant nature. Rather, we seek to formulate an evaluative approach that takes into account:
- multiple audiences - feedback for local communities, for ourselves, for institutions looking to adopt our data, for funding agencies, etc
- reflexivity - we may work with local partners to formulate an evaluative strategy, and this may often include questionnaires, surveys, interviews which we take part in both as subjects and as investigators
- outreach - by publishing evaluations in a variety of formats, we may employ diverse tactics to better understand and refine our work; its publication in diverse venues (journals, newspapers, white papers, video, public presentation, etc) offers us an opportunity to reach out to various fields (ecology, law, social science, technology, aid)
- location - our evaluations should be situated in geographic communities, examining the effects of our tools and data production in collaboration with a specific group of residents
Good evaluative approaches could enable us to:
- quantify our data and present it to scientific, government agencies for use in research, legal, and
- provide rich feedback for field mappers (in the case of balloon mapping and other public scientists to improve their techniques
- assess the effects of our work on local communities and situations of environmental (and other types of) conflict
- involve local partners in the quantification and interpretation of our joint work
We're going to use a few different approaches in performing (self-)evaluation -- each has pros and cons, but we will attempt to meet the above goals in structuring them.
Approach A: Logbook questionnaire
The logbook is an idea for a Lulu.com printed book to bring on field mapping missions for balloon mapping.
Although this strategy can be reductive, compared to interviews, videos, etc, its standard approach yields data which we can graph, analyze and publish for public use. The results will be published here periodically. Any member of our community may use them for fundraising, outreach, or for example to print & carry to the beach to improve mapping technique.
Read more at the Logbook page.
A mini version of this questionnaire was used by Jen Hudon as part of her Grassroots Newark project and can be found here:
Approach B: Community Blog
The community blog represents a way for members of our community to ... critical as well as positive...
To contribute to the community blog, visit the Community Blog page
Approach C: Interviews
We're beginning a series of journalistic/narrative interviews with residents of the communities we work with. Read more at the interviews page.