Evaluating the GDRL Project

July 3, 2012

What impact is the Global Disability Rights Library (GDRL) having …

  • On host organizations? 
  • On local communities? 
  • On people with disabilities? 

How well does the GDRL align with and support the mission of host organizations?

What exciting new projects or successes have been initiated since organizations received the GDRL? How were they accomplished?  To what extent did the GDRL help?

What difficulties or challenges have organizations faced in using or publicizing the GDRL and integrating it into their programs and activities? How might they be resolved? 
What should be the future of the GDRL project? More organizations? More countries? A larger collection? 

The GDRL team is now in the early stages of gathering information to help answer these questions.  Preliminary results reflect both success and challenge—and great enthusiasm—among deployment sites. 

Early reports from the field suggest that some sites have experienced technical difficulties in installing and using their new eGranary Digital Library while installation has gone more smoothly at others.  GDRL Regional Representatives in countries that have them, as well as technical staff at the WiderNet Project, have been offering guidance in repairing technical difficulties as they emerge.  At some organizations, issues such as limited familiarity with how to navigate eGranary content have slowed publicity efforts as well as initiatives to integrate the use of the library into the organization’s programs and activities.  Regional Representatives and other GDRL team members have been communicating with these sites to assist in identifying barriers and potential solutions.  Other organizations have rapidly embraced the library and found ways to entice users to their site to use the new resource.  (See related story in the GDRL newsletter, “What Are GDRL Deployment Sites Doing”?)

Users report being awed at the enormous collection of disability rights resources available inside the library.  Some of the same users also urge the GDRL team to continue expanding the library.  Common requests include more content in languages such as Swahili, Hausa, Amharic, Bengali, Spanish, and American Sign Language.  (The signed languages in some African nations, for various historical reasons, are heavily influenced by American Sign Language.)  Users also want more content on various populations experiencing marginalization, such a women, children, or youth with disabilities.  GDRL content reportedly is being used to inform advocacy training for leaders with disabilities in Nigeria and training on accessibility for construction workers in Ethiopia.

The GDRL team is gathering information for its evaluation process via various means including surveys and interviews for staff at GDRL deployment sites as well as user surveys for people who use the library.  Further results from the evaluation process will be shared in future issues of the GDRL newsletter and on the USICD website.