Assertions Concerning Bedlam
The links on this page identify the eight areas of assertions we have qualitative identified through an analysis of interviews, conversations and documents. The assertions themselves are justified merely as declarations to which key stakeholders assign importance without necessarily making their proof explicit or systematic. The statements are useful in the early stages of evaluation since they (1) suggest critical values that imbue Bedlam and its sites with distinctiveness, (2) indicate potential areas of inquiry that can guide subsequent stages of evaluation, and (3) stage subsequent evaluation for the determination of the merit and/or worth of the Bedlam Alliance for Community Health. That stakeholders assign importance to different or multiple aspects of Bedlam means that the project is multi-faceted, which means that any subsequent evaluation could take strategic forms (careful selection and prioritization of specific areas and the operationalization of assertions so that they are amenable to evaluation) or a comprehensive approach in which all facets are of equal importance even though each tells a somewhat different story about the purpose and possibilities of Bedlam.
We are impressed with the number and diversity of assertions indicating that Bedlam can potentially produce considerable value to communities in which there is a high need for accessible, responsive and high quality health care. This health care is a product of civic engagement in which a major university moves well beyond its institutional boundaries to partner with other entities and through synergistic relationships bring new forms of health care into existence. The assertions go a long way in amplifying what stakeholders see as distinctive about Bedlam and they can help evaluators further appreciate what the project seeks to bring about (so in this manner, assertions serve as objectives of sorts) and appreciate what stakeholders declare as real even though these declarations largely operate on a tacit level.
We have framed the assertions in a manner that supports inquiry. Thus, they suggest relationships among variables or identify certain values that can be assessed or judged. All the assertions require evidence which means that further specification, definition of key variables, and relationships are in order as a prelude to crafting an actual evaluation design.