EVALUATING THE PROJECT EMPOWERING YOUNG LGBT ADULTS: METHODOLOGY AND KEY FINDINGS OF A EUROPEAN ACTION RESEARCH
The article focuses on the evaluation of a training programme aimed to empower young LGBT adults in Ireland and the UK, constituting one component of a larger EU funded project on this issue which took place in six sites. The programme offered an interactive exploration in small groups of the impact of social stigma due to minority gender and sexual identity on the participants. It further enables looking at and developing new modes of resilience, as well as relevant knowledge. A pre, immediate post, and follow up post programme evaluation took place, including changes in demographic data, perception of stigma, and strategies to handle it more constructively. Methods included responses to questionnaires and focus groups. Nvivo analysis was applied to the qualitative data, while SPSS analysis was applied to the quantitative data. Key findings highlight the value of the groups to increasing self and other understanding among the participants and the ease of trusting each other. Participants began to put themselves in the place of others in the group and outside it in order to improve understanding, empathy, reflecting back, and consider the range of possible and effective responses. Political activism emerged as a response in Ireland, but not in the UK. Thus the effectiveness of the training programme has been demonstrated cross-culturally. The main limitation of the study is the lack of measurement of external outcomes.