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Part Three: Evaluation

Formal Evaluation: Citizen Scientist Approach

The Stronger Together project elected to use an audit tool developed by The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise (TAASE) at the University of South Australia called Citizen Science Approach. We partnered with the University of Ottawa to adapt the tool so that we can measure dementia inclusivity in our communities.


Conducting a formal evaluation using the Citizen Scientist Approach.

Step 1
Background Research.
Step 2
Ethics Approval.
Step 3
Development of working group/steering committee.
Step 4
Development of draft assessment tool.
Step 5
Recruitment of participants.
Step 6
Participant workshops.
Step 7
Finalization of assessment tool.
Step 8
Piloting/Data collection.
Step 9
Data analysis.
Step 10
Dissemination/Knowledge translation activities.

As with any new project and process, there are unforeseen challenges. We aim to share the challenges we met and the lessons we learned as a result.

Lessons Learned

  • The submission for receiving ethics approval should be done as soon as possible to avoid delays.
  • An interdisciplinary steering/working group is best as it allows key issues to be examined from various perspectives.
  • While tools are available to assess age-friendly communities, many tend to be vague and do not expand on key issues older adults face.
  • Reliance on only one resource for recruitment is not advisable. It is best to consider all possible stakeholders and their potential ability to reach the target audience.


  • It is also important to access unpublished reports which may have been conducted by NGOs as they often contain critical information to better inform the process being employed and to understand the target group.
  • Consider using social media posts to encourage people to come forward as volunteers.
  • Plan workshops in advance and ensure that the facilities meet all required criteria e.g. for covid-19.
  • Introduce new concepts slowly and utilize a step-by-step approach in reviewing the tool with participants.
  • Allow adequate time for participants to pilot the tool and provide feedback in each setting.
  • It is best to ask participants to conduct at least two to three audits per week as they go about their daily routine, as this will help to ensure sufficient data collection.
  • In addition, participants should be encouraged to assess a variety of areas e.g. both indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Clean data and analyze responses on a rolling basis which allows for any issues to be resolved in a timely manner and helps to ensure that project deadlines are met.
  • Pay close attention to the key dates for the webinar and conference submissions to ensure that at least preliminary results are available

Citizen Scientist Social Media Post


Throughout The Stronger Together Project, we produced various resources that may be helpful to other organizations.