TNOYS is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of results from the TAYF Initiative. The goals of the evaluation are to learn if and how engagement of youth and caregivers in program planning, design, and implementation impacts the end result of program participation for youth. Participating organizations are interested in learning if engaging youth in program planning, design, and implementation produces programming that is more meaningful and responsive to their needs. If this is the case, youth may remain in programming longer and receive greater benefit, which may ultimately improve their functioning and sense of empowerment. This could in turn promote improvements in educational attainment, stable housing, and employment.
The evaluation will include engagement of youth and caregivers through a participatory action research model. Participatory action research (PAR) came out of concerns that social science research has not benefitted the communities and individuals being studied. PAR takes the approach of engaging stakeholders, including community members and agency clients, in the process of data collection, data analysis, and writing reports.