IARSLCE 2019: Measuring Mutual Benefit and Reciprocity in Community Engagement and Public Service Activities

Wednesday, October 23- Friday October 25, 2019 International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement Conference Hotel Albuquerque Old Town, NM

Join Emily Janke and Terri Shelton as they present a conference session together at the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) 2019 Annual Conference.

Mutual benefit and reciprocity are arguably the defining characteristics of the Carnegie Foundation’s definition for community engagement partnerships.  Community engagement is different from other forms of outreach, public service, and volunteerism, to the extent that community and academic partners are engaged reciprocally and for mutual benefit.  This session discusses how these two characteristics are often conflated as synonyms by researchers, administrators, and practitioners, and offers definitions and measures that demonstrate their distinctiveness..

This session shares an emerging research program that is aimed at creating greater conceptual clarity and operationalization of these two terms in how scholars measure and track community engagement activities and partnerships.  The terms (mutual benefit and reciprocity) are explicated, the measures developed to track these aspects of partnerships are described, and initial findings of and reflections on 800+ partnerships tracked using Collaboratory(™) are shared.

This presentation advances the development of measures that can be used to better delineate the distinctive characteristics of mutual benefit and reciprocity. With this in hand, researchers can better establish parameters for inclusion/exclusion of partnerships in studies, allow larger samples of “apples to apples” comparisons, and establish baselines and goals for community engagement as differentiated from public service.

Contact us to connect with Emily and Terri at the conference in Albuquerque, NM