Shifting Accountability

Posted on 09/10/13

Monday, September 9, 2013

What happens when an organization loses funding from a government agency with very rigorous evaluation and accountability requirements?  What types of assessment tools will allow us to be accountable to our own high standards beyond that of any single funder?  These are questions we are currently asking ourselves as we diversify the funding of our MPACT (Moving Parents and Children Together) program.  Although each funding source has its own priorities in terms of data collection, most accept and appreciate Luna’s thorough evaluation methods.  As we transition MPACT from its Alameda-centric delivery, specifically in the case where two of our three partner residential centers are folding, we seek to delve deeper into the neighborhoods in which we’ve already developed relationships.  Looking to strengthen “cultures of dance” in three specific neighborhoods:  East Oakland/81st Street; Fruitvale; and Marin City/Sausalito, we’re building upon relationships that have been in play for more than a dozen years; and now, no longer tethered to serving children under age 5, we want to document how we bring dance to children and families from cradle to grave.  For example, how do we trace the experience of the young girl who danced with her foster mother at the Eastmont library MPACT classes, later danced with her birth mother at a residential facility and later still was a first grade dancer in one of Luna’s school programs?  She sees dance as integral to her identity—a friendly accompaniment across relationships and “homes.”  Dance as continuity has been the case for several children we’ve taught in MPACT classes and now we want to be strategic in our efforts to create pathways for families to stay connected across venues through the art of dance.  Making visible the various pathways possible is what we want our new evaluation process to accomplish. (preedy)

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