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Action Research as a Bridge Between Two Worlds: Helping The NGOs and Humanitarian Agencies Adapt Technology to Their Needs

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Abstract

This paper reflects upon the process of introducing social media systems into supported employment programs for peoples with severe mental illness in Taipei. Such intervention represents the encounter of two different worlds that are often-unknown to each other, i.e. IT student engineers and job coaches in NGOs. With the participatory and cyclic feature of action research approach, the process can be divided into three stages: technology-led stage, mutual infusion stage, and service-led stage. The focus of this research is to illustrate how action research provides a site for the infusion of two different horizons, that is technology experts in academia and social service providers in NGOs. The existing problems in the use of IT within NGOs were studied and changes through co-inquiry and interventions were implemented towards better utilization of IT and higher levels of service qualities. The researchers utilized an action research approach to investigate the problems, plan the actions, intervene, assess the effectiveness resulting from the actions, and specify learning outcomes.

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Acknowledgments

The work presented in this paper has been funded by the National Science Council, Taiwan, NSC 95-2627-E-008-002-.

Author information

Correspondence to Yao-Jen Chang.

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Chang, Y., Liao, R., Wang, T. et al. Action Research as a Bridge Between Two Worlds: Helping The NGOs and Humanitarian Agencies Adapt Technology to Their Needs. Syst Pract Action Res 23, 191–202 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11213-009-9154-8

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Keywords

  • NGO
  • Action engagement
  • Evaluation
  • Reflection