Smith, A. R., Barile, J. P., & Anger, J.
American Evaluation Association 2016 Conference: Evaluation + Design, Atlanta, G.A.
Publication year: 2016

Occasionally the lines between program and evaluation can become blurred. This presentation explores this phenomenon by discussing a photovoice project developed to elicit participant feedback on a Housing First program. Evaluators and program staff collectively designed the project, which resulted in a data collection process that resembled a program itself. Using participant-generated photographs and group discussions, photovoice is a useful participatory research method that empowers participants through consciousness-raising (Wang & Burris, 1997). This presentation explores the development of the photovoice project, its implementation, and results and discusses the challenges associated with using participatory research methods in program evaluation. Twenty participants contributed to the project over a four-week period. Findings generated through group discussions of participants’ pictures suggest that while they struggled to maintain a distance between their new lives and their old lives on the streets, program participants experienced improved self-esteem, physical health, and mental health since being housed.