Participatory Research and Evaluation
We engage in a limited number of participatory research and evaluation projects each year. We define participatory research and evaluation as research and evaluation projects in which the researchers and participants are viewed as equals, who work together to explore important questions about the research topic. We never enter into a research or evaluation project as "experts," but instead focus on drawing out the wisdom and knowledge of participants, then organizing and communicating the findings in clear and useful ways. Our recent research projects have included a broad survey of non-profit leaders in the rural South, an in-depth look at the structure and function of rural networks for wealth creation, and a detailed case study of a social enterprise. In addition, we have supported our partner organizations in completing program and staff evaluations.
Sharing Our Learning
At Rural Support Partners, we see every project we do as an opportunity to learn and reflect on the work in which we and our partner organizations are engaged. We believe that we have a responsibility to continually learn from both our successes and our mistakes, and to share these lessons in an honest, humble, and open way so that others can benefit as well.
Despite the undeniable value of reports and proceedings papers, we recognize that sometimes, visual media represents the best way to communicate quickly and effectively. We help our partners create multimedia communication tools using video, audio, and images to highlight success stories, share important information, and reach a wider audience.