Comparative evaluation of the MAZI pilots (version 3)

Davies, Gareth; Gaved, Mark; Charitonos, Koula; McAndrew, Patrick; Jones, Ann and Scanlon, Eileen (2018). Comparative evaluation of the MAZI pilots (version 3). The MAZI Consortium.


This deliverable is the third of three, reporting on the comparative evaluation of MAZI pilots (Deliverable 3.10). Across the course of MAZI, the pilots have engaged with communities in different ways, for different purposes. Common to all pilots has been the focus on using and developing the MAZI toolkit in order to facilitate Do-It-Yourself (DIY) networking. This has involved collaborations characterised by inter-disciplinarity, where academic and community partners have worked together to find effective ways of engaging the communities in meaningful ways.

In the previous version of this deliverable (D3.9), we defined our analysis methodology, which builds on the logic set out in the first report (D3.8). In this report, we will discuss the results of using of Realist Evaluation (RE) to form case studies (characterised by context, mechanism, outcome configurations) and Activity Theory (AT) to characterise each pilot as a separate activity system. To identify the generative mechanisms, we investigated the tensions and conflicts between the technical and semiotic levels of the pilots’ activity systems. Evidence generated was presented alongside the insights from the MAZI handbook to inform best practice for supporting the MAZI toolkit.

Comparing across the pilots’, we reveal tensions and conflicts between the technical and semiotic levels of the activity systems and the generative mechanisms used to meet the project and communities’ objectives. This emphasised the importance of understanding the context, e.g. by valuing the time spent with communities and the importance of learning their language and vocabularies, and respecting others capital. It revealed mechanisms for understanding location, the importance of stories and storytelling, designing collaborative activities and embracing opportunities for conversations. It also echoed the need to identify key roles, guises and actors for DIY networking and the importance of the principle of adding value rather than adding work.

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