Measuring the success of intervention programmes designed to increase the participation rate by women in computing
Many intervention programmes to encourage greater female participation in computer education and
careers have been conducted in the last twenty years. These intervention programmes take
considerable time, effort and money to design and implement. If success were to be measured by an
increase in the percentage of female students undertaking computing courses then these programmes
would have to be considered a failure. This paper describes a research project which examined
fourteen intervention programmes in detail. From the perspective of the programme champions each
of the intervention programmes was considered successful, even when this success was restricted to
specific areas or limited to small groups of individuals. Formal evaluation appeared to have been an
afterthought rather than a priority of many of the programme champions. Some programmes
appeared to be less effective due to the lack of targeted and clear goals or predetermined evaluation
criteria. It is recommended that during the initial planning phase for intervention programmes a clear
objective is to consider what a successful programme would look like and what the evaluation criteria
would be. Further work is needed to understand how intervention programmes can be better designed
and evaluated so that their impact and success can be expanded.
Craig, Annemieke; Dawson, Linda; and Fisher, Julie, "Measuring the success of intervention programmes designed to increase the participation rate by women in computing" (2009). ECIS 2009 Proceedings. 345.