Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

View Printable Version

Teen Opinions Count: Engaging Youth Voice Through Group Concept Mapping

Session Number: 1921
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Afterschool, engagement, group concept mapping, philanthropy, Teens, Youth
Session Chair: Corey Smith [Evaluation consultant]
Discussant: Sheila B. Robinson, Ed. D [Program Evaluator / Professional Development & Training - Custom Professional Learning, LLC]
Presenter 1: Avery Eenigenburg [Research Associate - Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation]
Presenter 2: Scott Rosas [Director of Research and Evaluation - Concept Systems Inc.]
Presenter 3: Chelsea A BaileyShea [Owner + Principal Evaluator - Compass Evaluation + Consulting LLC]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Corey Smith [Evaluation consultant]
Presentation 3 Additional Author: Kathleen Anne Jerome [Evaluation Consultant ]
Time: Nov 14, 2019 (03:45 PM - 04:45 PM)
Room: Hilton Marquette VI

Abstract 1 Title: A Philanthropic Perspective on Engaging Youth Voice Through Group Concept Mapping

Presentation Abstract 1:

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation was founded in 2015 and has 20 years to fully spend down its $1.2 billion corpus in two regions of focus: Southeast Michigan and Western New York. Afterschool is an important focus area for the foundation, but there is little data around what youth actually want and need when they are not in school. Group Concept Mapping fit the foundation’s desire to hear from youth themselves and to do so on a very significant scale (up to 10,000 youth in each region). The results from this project will inform the foundation’s afterschool strategies and grantmaking over the next several years, and county-level data will be shared publicly. In this part of the panel you will hear why the foundation decided to invest in this type of project on this scale and why it was important for us to hear directly from youth.

Abstract 2 Title: Applying Group Concept Mapping with Youth on a Large Scale
Presentation Abstract 2:

Group concept mapping (GCM) is a mixed method approach that enables groups of people from a variety of perspectives to reach consensus while mitigating minimizing the differentiation of power between groups. Youth have been purposeful targets in previous GCM projects and in this part of the panel attendees will learn about the application of GCM for a needs assessment regarding what youth want as options for afterschool to inform the strategic thinking of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Primarily know as a small group methodology, the use of GCM in conducting a large-scale group concept mapping project across all 16 counties in Southeastern Michigan and Western New York, engaging over 15,000 people posed particular design and implementation challenges. Two GCM experts will discuss these challenges while also describing the relevance of the methodology for application with youth.

Abstract 3 Title: Lessons Learned from Engaging and Recruiting to Facilitate Teen Engagement
Presentation Abstract 3:

Engaging thousands of teenagers and adults to participate in anything can be difficult. Engaging them in a multi-phase process like Group Concept Mapping (GCM) poses additional challenges. Accessing teens can be particularly sensitive because of issues of privacy and ethics as they are considered a protected population. Competing demands on schools’ time from internal priorities (e.g, curricular demands, preparing for state tests, district data collection), as well as external requests for access to youth require symbiotic collaboration. Similar time-restraints are a reality for youth-serving organizations, and parent groups. In this part of the panel, we talk about our strategies for collaborating with schools and organizations to facilitate teen engagement with an initiative that had real-world implications for shaping their communities. We will offer lessons learned around balancing a recruitment strategy that both convinced administrators working directly with youth, and excited teenagers about the opportunity to impact philanthropic investment.

Audience Level: Beginner

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Engaging and elevating youth voice is critical to understanding more precisely what teens want, particularly when it comes to out of school time (OST). Many OST opportunities exist, and yet a need for additional OST activities persists, suggesting the need is not met. In this panel, you will learn about the largest Group Concept Mapping (CGM) effort ever undertaken, engaging over 15,000 teens in Western New York and South East Michigan.  Presentations will be made by a representative of the foundation that commissioned the study, two experts in Group Concept Mapping (GCM), and two evaluators who facilitated teen and adult engagement in the project. The panel provides insight into a philanthropic perspective that relied directly on youth voice to guide foundation investment, how GCM can be useful for engaging teens in sensemaking, and our experience engaging and recruiting thousands of teenagers.


For questions or concerns about your event registration, please contact registration@eval.org or 202-367-1173.

For questions about your account, membership status, or help logging in, please contact info@eval.org.

Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 11, 2019. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 11, 2019 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2019, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for approved international requests.