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OVC Fact Sheet: Action Research

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2018
2 pages
Publication Series
This fact sheet provided by the U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is intended to help recipients of OVC human trafficking grants to transition from an evaluation model to an action research model.
Prior to FY 2018, OVC required human trafficking grantees to include an evaluation research component in their grant program activities. After a review of this process, however, OVC has determined that an action-research model is a better fit for grantee projects. Evaluation research attempts to document the processes and outcomes of a program to determine its effectiveness. Action research, on the other hand, is social research conducted by a team composed of a professional researcher and representatives from an organization or group that wants to improve its processes, products, or services. Action research involves a joint defining of a problem to be addressed, generating knowledge about the problem through data collection, leveraging data to develop a solution or action plan, implementing the solution or action plan, and interpreting its results. OVC determined that the action-research model is a better approach for helping organizations navigate daily implementation activities and making sound decisions when challenges arise. Action research focuses on problemsolving, which is more useful for grantees. Action research should be used continuously throughout a project. It is different from a long-term evaluation, since it involves a strategy for steering a project. It continually identifies challenges being confronted that can be informed by data collection and analysis. This fact sheet provides guidance in finding the appropriate research partner and in reporting action research activities in the grantee's annual report to OVC.

Date Published: May 1, 2018