This article addresses two important and elusive issues for funded projects: quantifiable measures and deep understandings of participant perceptions.
It describes the development of the InQuiry evaluation tool, which combines Q methodology (factor analysis process to quantify perceptions) with a qualitative participatory approach. InQuiry generates both quantified metrics of what participants believe about a given topic and also a rich narrative of why participants think the way they do. These data yield metrics for understanding fidelity, outcomes, and impacts.
Beginning with the history of a program funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, this article also illustrates the tool’s usefulness. The Seattle Community Learning Exchange, an example of InQuiry in action from beginning to end, explored how members of a diverse community perceived peacemaking and healing within the community and implemented peacemaking circles by building capacity and shifting perceptions.
Militello, M., Janson, C., & Tonissen, D. (2016). InQuiry: A Participatory Approach for Understanding Stakeholder Perceptions. The Foundation Review, 8(1). https://doi.org/10.9707/1944-5660.1286