The centrality of process in articulations of accountability in training programmes for young people

Devanney, C.A., 2006. The centrality of process in articulations of accountability in training programmes for young people. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

10183427.pdf - Published version

Download (45MB) | Preview


The context for this work is training programmes for young people aged 16-18 who were previously disengaged from mainstream provisions. This work critically explores assumptions in social policy discourses in relation to social exclusion and disengaged young people and the accountability mechanisms which govern training programmes based on successful transition to education, employment or training.

Young people have been placed at the centre of this study to engage them in the research process in a participatory way using visual methods, over a two-year period. This approach highlighted that young people gave priority to relationships with workers and often related their progression to the development of confidence, aspects currently concealed through accountability mechanisms. Furthermore, observations of programmes and interviews with workers confirmed the significance of recognising both process and wider social context to develop understandings of the performance of programmes.

The central arguments emerging from this work consider the contradictions between the bespoke programme to address complex needs identified in policy discourses and what becomes of value in accountability mechanisms. Fundamentally, policy interventions are based on assumptions of young people which may not provide an accurate starting point for the programmes and which may then create unrealistic targets. This is further complicated by the way in which programmes have to account for their performance which relies on aggregated levels of understanding of programmes and oversimplified definitions of success or failure.

While this work has communicated the significance of process to develop enhanced understanding about the performance of programmes it also recognises that this is not unproblematic. This work suggests the development of a process-based model of accountability in practice, to inform the current approach, and communicate understandings of programmes that reflect the realities of practice and young people's experiences. This involves young people as 'active participants' in accounting for their development on the programmes and a shift towards thinking about accountability as a process of learning rather than one of scrutiny and control.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Devanney, C.A.
Date: 2006
ISBN: 9781369316285
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 25 Sep 2020 14:52
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2023 09:19

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year