Phase 1: June 2007 – May 2008

Goal

Synthesize and share research and published materials about accountability in the adult literacy and related fields in Canada, and internationally.

Why we chose this goal

No comprehensive overview of the research on accountability and adult literacy exists.

The literature review will provide an understanding of why, how and when various accountability processes developed in adult literacy while examining the challenges and opportunities we face as we move forward.

How we’ll accomplish it

We’re conducting a comprehensive literature review to learn how current accountability requirements affect the adult literacy field in Canada, the United States and abroad.

We will also look at related fields that have similar challenges to the literacy field in measuring client outcomes within current accountability frameworks.

We’re developing creative ways to share the literature review findings to expand the shared knowledge base about accountability and encourage dialogue around this topic.

Ways to be involved

Periodically we will post short summaries of seminal articles that you should know about as you navigate the accountability landscape in adult literacy.

Later this spring, we will post a timeline that will give you a bird’s eye view of how accountability activities have unfolded in Canadian government and intertwine with the adult literacy field. Research Briefs that will link theory and practice and provide a foundation for better understanding how accountability impacts your work as government funder or provider of adult literacy services will soon be posted.

Goal

Gather information about what is currently happening in the field regarding accountability policy and practice.

Why we chose this goal

No one has conducted a comprehensive overview of what is happening when it comes to the accountability processes currently being used in adult literacy in different parts of Canada, or how they are perceived by funders and providers.

The field review will allow practitioners and funders to move towards a shared understanding of the practices, policies and methods of accountability currently in place across Canada. It will also highlight best practices and common areas of concern between funders and practitioners.

Creating this national “snapshot” is an important step in improving communication among practitioners and providers.

How we’ll accomplish it

Using a research in practice approach, seven field reviewers are interviewing literacy practitioners and funders across Canada to learn about the impact of accountability processes on the field.

Field reviewers are also gathering examples of forms, policies, and documents related to accountability. Project staff will analyze the findings of the interviews and the documents.

Dissemination of the field review findings is an important component of Connecting the Dots.

Ways to be involved

Read about the outcomes and recommendations of the pan-Canadian invitational , Accountability and Adult Literacy: Moving the Conversation Forward, that will take place on May 13-14, 2008, in Montreal. Findings will be posted in May.

Phase 2: June 2008 – May 2009

Goal

Develop and implement five innovative accountability models in different regions of the country.

Why we chose this goal

An early review of the literature indicates there are a range of accountability frameworks that can lead to positive outcomes for both funders and practitioners.

The innovative models will demonstrate how providers can focus their energy to expand literacy services and reduce barriers to access for more Canadians while clearly accounting for outcomes.

The action research accountability projects will help to increase options, contribute to shared understanding among practitioners and funders, and build insight into new ways to approach accountability.

How we’ll accomplish it

Connecting the Dots is committed to identify, create, or replicate up to five innovative accountability models to demonstrate new approaches to accountability for adult literacy programs. These innovative models will be identified in a number of ways.

Findings from the literature review regarding accountability in other fields and other countries may inform model development.

Learning what is and is not working during the field review will help in creating these models.

We hope to discover a variety of innovative approaches across Canada from the field review that can be tried out in different locations, with different types of providers, or with modifications or improvements.

Goal

Increase understanding among practitioners and funders of the impact of accountability on the field and options for improvement.

Why we chose this goal

Building shared knowledge about accountability among stakeholders should open channels for improved communication and collaboration.

How we’ll accomplish it

The Project supports knowledge-sharing, improved understanding of accountability practices in the field and the implementation of innovative models.

Each of the earlier goals contributes to the accomplishment of this one.

Ways to be involved

Visit the Discussion Forum to participate in an on-line discussion about the Project and our findings.

Visit the Learn section to read the findings of the field review and literature review. (These findings will be posted in September 2008.)

Sign-up to be notified of important updates to our website.

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