Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Edward Bennett

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


A process evaluation of an "Opportunities Planning" pilot project was conducted. Stakeholder participation was utilized to help determine the evaluation focus. mainly qualitative methods were used. The evaluation utilized field notes, program documents, focus groups, and structured interviews. Over 40 meetings were attended and recorded, and 27 one-on-one structured interviews were conducted, as well as two focus groups where eight individuals were interviewed. These interviews were conducted with a variety of key stakeholders, including: participants (social assistance recipients), program participants (individuals receiving the service), staff, service providers, and ministry representatives.

The research results are arranged in four parts: (a) the definition and framework of the participant-centred approach; (b) implementation issues; (c) outcomes of the participant-centred approach and (d) participants' feelings about service delivery. The results of this evaluation help to: (a) clarify the participant-centred approach and understand the parameters under which it operated; (b) identify how the operating parameters led to implementation issues regarding power relationships; (c) understand how the participant-centred process can lead to empowerment and program changes at a local level; and (d) identify some of the systemic barriers program participants are struggling to overcome and their feelings about the program. The discussion section critiques the program's ability to empower social assistance recipients. Several recommendations are made which could be utilized to avoid challenges which seem to result from using a new approach to program planning, implementation, monitoring, and service delivery.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Psychology Commons