What is participatory evaluation?
___Participatory evaluation is an evaluation that involves all the stakeholders in a project - those directly affected by it or by carrying it out - in every phase of evaluating it, and in applying the results of that evaluation to the improvement of the work.
Why would (and why wouldn't) you use participatory evaluation?
___It gives you a better perspective on both the initial needs of the project's beneficiaries, and on its ultimate effects.
___It can get you information you wouldn't get otherwise.
___It tells you what worked and what didn't from the perspective of those most directly involved - beneficiaries and staff.
___It can tell you why something does or doesn't work.
___It results in a more effective project.
___It empowers stakeholders.
___It can provide a voice for those who are often not heard.
___It teaches skills that can be used in employment and other areas of life.
___It bolsters self-confidence and self-esteem in those who may have little of either.
___It demonstrates to people ways in which they can take more control of their lives.
___It encourages stakeholder ownership of the project.
___It can spark creativity in everyone involved.
___It encourages working collaboratively.
___It fits into a larger participatory effort.
___It takes more time than conventional process.
___It takes the establishment of trust among all participants in the process.
___You have to make sure that everyone's involved, not just "leaders" of various groups.
___You have to train people to understand evaluation and how the participatory process works, as well as teaching them basic research skills.
___You have to get buy-in and commitment from participants.
___People's lives - illness, child care and relationship problems, getting the crops in, etc. - may cause delays or get in the way oftheevaluation
___You may have to be creative about how you get, record, and report information.
___Funders and policy makers may not understand or believe in participatory evaluation.
When would you use participatory evaluation?
___When you're already committed to a participatory process for your project.
___When you have the time, or when results are more important than time.
___When you can convince funders that it's a good idea.
___When there may be issues in the community or population that outside evaluators (or program providers, for that matter) aren't likely to be aware of.
___When you need information that it will be difficult for anyone outside the community or population to get.
___When part of the goal of the project is to empower participants and help them develop transferable skills.
___When you want to bring the community or population together.
Who should be involved in participatory evaluation?
All stakeholders, including:
___Participants or beneficiaries.
___Project line staff and/or volunteers.
___Outside evaluators, if they're involved.
___Others whose lives are affected by the project.