Evaluation Research 2006-2012 Key Findings
External Evaluation - Research Summary 2014
The evaluation, carried out by the IDC Herzliya‘s School of Psychology – Emotion in Conflict Lab (PICR Lab), under the direction of Prof. Eran Halperin and Dr. Tamar Saguy, is now in its final stages of processing the materials collected. See below the translation of the abstract from the research:
The present research assessed projects conducted within the “Good Deeds Day Kulanana 2013-2014” initiative of “Merchavim” and “Ruach Tova”. The overarching goal of the projects was to advance social cohesion by promoting the values of common citizenship, fairness and diversity within the Israeli society. Accordingly, we set out to identify the factors that served to promote (or inhibit) the projects from obtaining this goal, and also the more specific goal of each project. The data collected for this research included group interviews and panel discussions with the heads of the “Good Deeds Day Kulanana 2013-2014” initiative, as well as semi-structured interviews held with managers of four of the projects. The projects that were sampled included an organization which held plays reenacting the story of underrepresented groups in the common discourse (e.g. youth at risk) to a variety of audiences (students, senior citizens). Another project initiated a dialogue group of Arab women and Jewish-Russian immigrants. The third project involved an interactive introduction of Ethiopian culture to students in schools in which there is no representation of the Ethiopian community. The fourth project held first aid courses translated and specifically designed to suit the Bedouin population in the Negev. To construct and analyze the interviews we conducted a thorough review of the intergroup relations literature. The literature used as the basis for analyzing the interviews was derived from social psychological research regarding prejudice and ways to overcome it (i.e., the contact hypothesis, recategorization models, and counter stereotypes), as well as identity processes (identity threat resulting from intergroup encounters).
The interviews analysis indicated that for a project of this sort to be successful it first must clearly define a realistic and concrete goal, while recognizing the value of the relatively small yet significant changes one can achieve (as opposed to abstract and grandiose thinking). In addition, the projects content should be relevant to the participants so that they can have a meaningful experience within the project. The projects should involve a multi-stage planning, involving participants’ preparation in preliminary meetings and planning the activities as a process that can evolve over time (as opposed to a “touch and go” intervention). Moreover, organizations must be able to effectively deal with technical difficulties. In addition, the inter-organizational cooperation (which characterizes some of the projects; e.g., the collaboration regarding first-aid project between a Jewish religious emergency medicine organization and another organization promoting the welfare of the Negev non-Jew inhabitants) was clearly a benefit. Technically, such cooperation allows better access to populations, resources and knowledge that otherwise are less accessible to each organization. In addition, such cooperation creates mutual dependence between the two organizations, which also includes a shared thinking about goals. Thus, there is a real potential for further expanding how organizations, and citizens who consume the organizations’ content, perceive their own goals and their identities, from more specific to a broader version involving a wider concept of fairness.
The interviews also raised a number of conclusions that are specifically relevant for the “Good Deeds Day Kulanana 2014-2015”. At the center of this new project is the idea of pairing organizations, to lead them to work together on one project that will involve both organizations’ perspectives. From the interviews we conducted, it became clear that creating a common identity for the two organizations is highly important, yet, such identity should allow each organization to achieve its own goals and express its values. The psychological literature refers to the importance of creating a dual identity, i.e. simultaneous identification with the group that includes the two organizations, and the “original” organization. Such identification can reduce the threat of the merger (loss of identity), while still creating a common ground for action. Another element that this research revealed is the use of evidenced-based interventions, to be able to construct more effective activities which will promote the organizations goals and the objectives of “Kulanana Good Deeds Day”.
IDC Herzliya‘s School of Psychology – Emotion in Conflict Lab (PICR Lab), under the direction of Prof. Eran Halperin and Dr. Tamar Saguy.