Can 28 Days Make A Difference? A Case Study of Community Aid Abroad’s Community Leadership Program
As one of Australia’s largest and most active non-governmental development assistance organisations, Community Aid Abroad-Oxfam Australia (CAA) places development education and advocacy among its priorities. This study evaluated one of CAA’s development education programs to determine if a program lasting only twenty-eight days could heighten participants’ awareness of social justice issues sufficiently to be considered successful. The research aimed to determine what participants’ pre-program expectations were, and if after completing the program, participants believed that they had been changed sufficiently by the experience to become activists for social justice, thus fulfilling CAA’s stated reason for running the program. The study revealed that all participants had their positive expectations of the program met and all hoped, and most expected, to become activists for social justice in some way in the future. It was therefore concluded that, in the context of a development education program with a limited number of annual participants, 28 days does make a difference.