Publication Details

Craig, A., Dawson, L. & Fisher, J. (2009). Measuring the success of intervention programmes designed to increase the participation rate by women in computing. 17th European Conference on Information Systems (pp. 1-12).


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