Creating a 'whole-system approach' with strong learning communities throughout an organisation

The City of Aarhus wants throughout its child and youth administration to create a culture characterized by a whole-system approach and with strong learning communities. The purpose is to create reflective and data-oriented practice communities in mutually binding communities. The municipality is ambitious and aware, that this is an ongoing process (not a project) to change culture throughout a big organization with a high variety of professions.

Target groups
Oxford Research will evaluate this cultural process for all units in the administration (primary schools are evaluated separately but as part of the collective process). Thus, the subject field contains a complexity in both professions, functions and subject groups e.g. day care centers, after-school-facilities, joint functions in the administration. This requires an evaluation design containing indicators in different professional discourses.

Evaluation feedback
As the content deals with culture and mind-set in a very dynamic “change-wheel”, the evaluation’s theoretical approach is “developmental evaluation”, where the evaluation changes character in the course from explorative to formative to summative.
The evaluation is organized with frequent feedback loops, where the evaluation feeds into the learning loops contained in the change process.

Quantititavely there are annual progression measurements on all employees and process measurements are monitored and evaluated every six months. These feed into the Children’s and Youth Administration’s three levels: management, discreet and operational offerings.

Qualitative data feeds back frequently as well and in different levels. Casestudies, observations and interview points out active factors in the process in different operational parts of the organization. Similarly, the evaluation will contribute with questions for reflection and monitoring tools that can remain in the organization as part of anchoring a data-oriented culture.

Final reporting on the evaluation
The evaluation concludes with an overall report on both process and results.
The evaluation indicators naturally take their point of departure in the theories of learning communities and professional capital but have a particular focus on which concrete changes in behavior of the educator, the civil servant, the speech therapist, etc. that shows that there are, for example, reflective and data-oriented practices.