This section of our page focuses on sharing experiences, especially lessons that emerge from the practice of evaluation and social participation.
We are interested in hearing from the voices on the ground; the wisdom that comes from practice. We want to make those roads travelled, those moments of stumbling and finding your feet again, those discoveries and the joy they brought all accessible to everyone reading.
We want to value the subjectivity of each member of this community and open up a space to share the anecdotes and stories that have come out of your participatory evaluation experiences.
Why meaningful lessons?
Learning is about moving forward and growing, confronting difficulties and obstacles, reflecting on our mistakes and overcoming them. Learning is part of human nature and our instinct to be curious.
“One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning” said James Russell Lowell. Our own experience is one of the best sources we can learn from. Our experiences and critical reflection on both our successes and errors provide us with the best lessons and wisdom and will serve us for life.
Meaningful learning is that which is added to knowledge we have already acquired. The wisdom we have gained was fuelled by discovery, trial and error. The new gets its significance from the way it contrasts, validates or refutes that which we already knew. And from experience, we also generate new wisdom. Often through the most unlikely processes and situations. In order to learn, we have to explore, discover.
It’s also important to accept that we may make mistakes. “Experience is never a failure because it always comes to show something”, said Thomas Edison. If we want to learn and advance even further, it’s important to capitalise on and share these lessons so they can produce new, better experiences.
Whilst there are many methodologies, tools and a long list of recommendations, not everything works in all places. Working with different people in different contexts and realities produces unique participatory evaluation processes and each one becomes a valuable source of new lessons. For this reason, we see participatory evaluation practice as fertile ground for reflection and learning.
How can I participate?
Following on from these reflections, we invite you to share the lessons that you have learnt through participatory evaluation experiences. This call for experiences will remain open; it does not have a deadline.
To participate, download the instructions, fill in the form and tell us about your experience.
We will publish them so they can help many more people.