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Making it count: learning from a knowledge exchange with voluntary sector workers and software providers, and data from auto/biographical reflection as an activist academic

Making it count: learning from a knowledge exchange with voluntary sector workers and software providers, and data from auto/biographical reflection as an activist academic

Mann, Sally (2019) Making it count: learning from a knowledge exchange with voluntary sector workers and software providers, and data from auto/biographical reflection as an activist academic. Methodological Innovations, 12 (3). pp. 1-9. ISSN 2059-7991 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/2059799119889570)

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Abstract

This article offers an analysis of methodological disputes between various stakeholders in welfare provision. It addresses debates of validity, efficiency and purpose. It gathers data from two sources: a knowledge exchange event which brought together voluntary sector workers, outcome software providers and academics, and auto/biographical data from my long-term participation in a grass-roots community project seeking to tackle street homelessness and food poverty in the London Borough of Newham. It pays particular attention to the tensions inherent in measuring impact and presenting ‘softer’ outcomes. It highlights the innovative approaches adopted by those working in the third sector as they seek to comply with an often overwhelming and increasingly complex set of methodological demands from funders. This article includes a discussion of the positioning of researchers seeking to offer ‘accountable knowledge’ and the types of knowledge which arise in pursuing an approach best described as ‘theorised subjectivity’. I consider the tensions inherent in my own attempt to navigate towards being a ‘partial inbetweener’ or at least a ‘trusted outsider’ to homeless people within the project I volunteer with. To this end, discussions of the use of auto/biographical data, drawn from working as a community organiser, are included.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: voluntary sector, soft outcomes, data collection for funders, knowledge exchange exchange, auto/biographical methods, insider/outsider position
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Applied Sociology Research Group
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Department of History, Politics & Social Sciences
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 15:19
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: GREAT 1
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/23280

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