The Client: City of Seattle Human Services Department
The City of Seattle funded the Multi-Lingual Access Project (MAP) for five years and was concerned about administrative issues and low product utilization. Collaborating community-based agencies found the project draining on agency resources. The City sought an evaluator who would serve as a facilitator, when necessary, to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the project for stakeholders and to decide if, and how, to continue MAP. An independent, unbiased and culturally competent evaluator conducted an efficient and time-sensitive evaluation for all partners to use. The evaluator/facilitator, helped City and non-City project partners to solve problems and decide the next steps.
- Comprehensive evaluation design which considered all of the MAP products.
- Process evaluation components that allowed the informants to reflect on the collaboration, purpose and structure of MAP.
- Thorough textual review of existing reports, meeting notes, and historical documentation.
- Individual and group interviews with agency partners in the collaborative project.
- Accurate and honest analysis and reporting in a contentious political environment.
- Facilitation of strategic planning meetings to utilize evaluation findings and identify goals and feasible next steps.
- MAP agency partners welcomed the opportunity to reflect on the challenges the project had faced over its developmental years.
- While the funder was more focused on products, the partners were equally focused on what had helped and hindered the process of developing MAP.
- The evaluation found that a lack of administrative and organizational follow-through and insecure funding had hindered the effectiveness of the products.
- Agencies reported deep frustration at the intense resource drain that the agencies experienced.
- These findings, while not the initial focus of the City Human Services Department, illuminated where MAP had succeeded, where it had floundered, and why.
- Evaluator facilitation in a series of strategic planning meetings based on the evaluation findings allowed mainstream agencies to consider how to further the MAP goals through other language projects.