How do you measure the impact of a community champions program? This was the central question of a working session at CZI’s Accelerating Open Science in Latin America workshop, convened by rOpenSci’s Community Manager Yani Bellini Saibene and attended by CSCCE’s Founder and Director, Lou Woodley.
Measuring the impact of any kind of community program presents a series of challenges :
What is the impact that you’re hoping your program will have?
Is the impact you hope the program will have something that can be measured?
What types of instruments can be used to measure impact? (e.g., surveys, focus groups, etc.)
How many times can you reasonably ask your participants to give feedback?
How do you (or can you?) reliably follow up with participants months or even years after a program has concluded?
This month’s community call was part of an ongoing series focusing on the role of community, and the community manager, in STEM. These conversations flowed from the 25 Community Manager Case Studies we published earlier this year, and we’ll be publishing a report to summarize our findings in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can catch up on our August (an overview of the case studies project) and September (a conversation about self-advocacy for community managers) calls on the CSCCE blog, and add our November call (which will focus on supporting and recognizing volunteers) to your calendar.
One of the common challenges identified from the case studies is that many community managers feel that their role is poorly understood, and so people in these roles sometimes find themselves juggling disparate definitions of success. During this session, we heard from three STEM leaders — Josh Greenberg from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, John Ohab from the Hertz Foundation, and Karthik Ram from the University of California at Berkeley — about how they think about the importance and impact of communities, and the qualities they look for in a successful community. This recap describes some of the themes that emerged during this discussion, and includes the recordings of each presentation.
Our October call will focus on why community-building is important to different STEM organizations and what success looks like in each case. We’ll hear from three STEM leaders – each representing a different type of organization from a funder to a lead PI – about why community is important to the work they do.
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