The Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) process evaluation Thematic Report No. 4: CDI as organisation: examining the processes and relationships to support implementation
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Canavan, J., Coen, L., Ozan, J. and Curtin, C. (2014) CDI as Organisation: Examining the Processes and Relationships to Support Implementation. Dublin: Childhood Development Initiative.
BACKGROUND In 2008 the Child and Family Research Centre (CFRC) was contracted for a three year period by the Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) to undertake a process evaluation of its work. The evaluation consists of five thematic-focussed reports and an overall final report. In addition, in September 2010, the potential for undertaking a small, focussed additional piece of work on Organisation was explored and agreed with CDI. The idea for this report arose out of an observation made by the evaluation team about the amount and type of activities undertaken by CDI to implement its programme of work, and the desire of CDI to have this captured, particular around its organisational practice. An evaluation plan for this standalone piece of work was developed in February 2011 and agreed in April 2011, with full data collection processes agreed in May 2011. The full evaluation proposal and plan is contained in Appendix 2 of this report. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The aim of this evaluation is to document and examine the processes and relationships CDI has utilised to implement its strategy and principles. The objectives are: • To identify the relationships which CDI established and maintained to begin implementing its strategy; • To identify the processes which CDI established and maintained to begin implementing its strategy; • To identify and examine how leadership impacts on processes and relationships in the case of CDI; • To identify and examine what worked well in establishing both relationships and processes for implementation; • To identify and examine what difficulties emerged in establishing both relationships and processes for implementation; • To draw out implications of the CDI organisational process experience for future Comprehensive Community Initiative-style work in Ireland and elsewhere. DESIGN AND METHODS This aspect of the process evaluation was designed in conjunction with CDI. A draft evaluation plan for this theme was developed and forwarded to CDI for comment and affirmation. The plan was adjusted on foot of these comments and finalised. A multi-method approach was adopted. A multi-method approach is described as “the mixing of methods by combining two or more qualitative methods in a single research study […] or by using two or more quantitative methods in a single research study” (Hesse-Biber, 2010, p. 3). For this report the following methods were used: • Literature review identifying factors relating to the implementation of Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCIs), leadership in CCIs, and characteristics of postmodern organisations; • Documentary analysis of a range of CDI documents, including team meeting minutes, governance meeting minutes, board reports, and documentation of various CDI working groups. Analysis of various governance meeting attendance data was also undertaken; • Observations of various CDI meetings, events, working groups, governance meetings, CDI AGMs and public events; • Interviews with various members of CDI: CEO, team members, governance members, funders. and representatives of the South Dublin Children’s Service Committee.