A robust University-NGO partnership: Analysing school efficiencies in Bolivia with community-based management techniques

Joao Neiva de Figueiredo, Ann Marie Jursca Keffer, Miguel Angel Marca Barrientos, Silvana Gonzalez


Abstract

Community-based management research is a collaborative effort between management, academics and communities in need with the specific goal of achieving social change to foster social justice. Because it is designed to promote and validate joint methods of discovery and community-based sources of knowledge, community-based management research has several unique characteristics, which may affect its execution. This article describes the process of a community-based management research project which is descriptive in nature and uses quantitative techniques to examine school efficiencies in low-income communities in a developing country – Bolivia. The article describes the partnership between a US-based university and a Bolivian not-for-profit organisation, the research context and the history of the research project, including its various phases. It focuses on the (yet unpublished) process of the community-based research as opposed to its content (which has been published elsewhere). The article also makes the case that the robust partnership between the US-based university and the Bolivian NGO has been a determining factor in achieving positive results. Strengths and limitations are examined in the hope that the experience may be helpful to others conducting descriptive quantitative management research using community-engaged frameworks in cross-cultural settings.

Keywords: international partnership, community-engaged scholarship, education efficiency, multicultural low-income education.

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