On this page, we share a set of publications which discuss conceptual and methodological considerations on Participatory Evaluation and other relevant topics. It features guides, manuals and other publications which mainly address the “what?” and “how?” of participatory and collaborative approaches in evaluation.
This is a collaborative library under construction. Therefore, if you know of other valuable documents on this topic, we would be grateful if you shared them with our community of practice and learning so they can be made available to others who may need them.
This manual reflects the thinking, feeling and collective learning of so many colleagues who have being working on participatory evaluation in Latin America. With a multimedia format, which combines illustrations, linkage to videos and complementary bibliography, the manual provides conceptual and methodological considerations to develop high quality participatory evaluations. Its chapters focus on the phases and stages of a participatory evaluation, the key role played by the person who facilitates the processes, and the sense and place of participatory tools in this approach of evaluation. It was first published in Spanish (January 2021) but there will be an English version by mid-year 2021.
This article places participatory evaluation within the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, which support the urgent need for social inclusion and the role of civil society in the construction of a world where “no one is left behind”. The work advocates for an evaluation inscribed in a transforming perspective of reality, capable of creating a reflective and critical dialogue between multiple social actors that are connected with an intervention, program or project. The article highlights the importance of creating opportunities to participate as well as capacities to develop a transforming role of citizenship in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Collaborative, participatory and empowerment evaluations are evaluation approaches that imply the participation of stakeholders and interested parties. This chapter explains some of the different characteristics of each approach and how they are applied and understood in the Anglo-Saxon evaluation field.
The way young people interpret their own realities are key to understanding their actions and behaviours. They are also key for adapting social and educational projects and programmes to new social dynamics. This article analyses these interpretations in 4 Participatory Evaluation processes with 42 young people, aged between 14 and 25, in 4 Spanish cities.
Empowerment evaluation represents another recognised approach to building evaluation capacity. It implies the use of evaluation concepts, techniques and findings in order to foster improvements and self-determination. Community and programme staff members lead the way with the help of a professional evaluator. The approach aims to increase the probability that the programmes achieve results by building capacity among stakeholders interested in the programme to plan, implement and evaluate their own programmes.
Evaluation in practice represents the application of principles to real-world settings. However, practice is messy, often filled with nuance, compromise, and built-in tensions. This chapter analyses how empowerment evaluation principles guide the practice of this evaluation type. The principles include (1) improvement, (2) community ownership, (3) inclusion, (4) democratic participation, (5) social justice, (6) community knowledge (knowledge closely related to practice), (7) evidence-based strategies (e.g., interventions, practices), (8) capacity building, (9) organisational learning, and (10) accountability.
This guide provides basic elements to include into decision making process the voice of all the people and groups directly and indirectly involved in a development policy. It presents the theoretical and scientific basis of a participatory approach, the methodology, tips and practical examples as well as a set of tools that can be applied in the institutional context of development cooperation.
This document (in Spanish) describes the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation System as a distinct methodological approach which integrates local residents, development organisations and decision-makers so they decide together on how to measure progress and what action should be taken as a result of the evaluation results. It suggests key concepts and proposes methodology.
This article (in Spanish) explores participatory monitoring and results-based evaluation and responds to the following questions: What is the difference between conventional monitoring and evaluation and participatory monitoring and evaluation?, What is the aim of a participatory approach?, How can it be put into practice?
This document (in Spanish) intends to strengthen participatory evaluation in projects financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Latin America and the Caribbean. It focuses on three types of obstacles: (1) What? within a theoretical framework for participatory evaluation, (2) How?, by explaining the methodology as part of monitoring and evaluation, and (3) How to be?, in reference to strengths and skills required for PE.
This document (in Spanish) refers to the ATICA Water Land Campesina Programme as part of a thematic expansion process in PLAFOR and PROFOR forestry programmes. It intends to summarise results from the Participatory Impact Evaluation process and make them available to a wider public with the aim of encouraging the application of participatory methodology in other projects and programmes.
This working document (in Spanish) is grounded in a two-year UNICEF experience in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNICEF/ALC). This material was produced as a way of stimulating discussion among international agencies around new elements, changes, and different perspectives and approaches in evaluation.
This guide (in Spanish) presents a model of participatory evaluation for producers used by PASOLAC as its internal evaluation tool and made available here to organisations looking to evaluate gains in agricultural projects. The document has been compiled drawing on PASOLAC’s experiences in Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador and evaluates the effect of land and water conservation techniques promoted by member entities.
This article (in Spanish) reviews concepts, discussions and practices relevant to social and civic participation of international organisations, governments and organised civil society in Latin America and Mexico. It recognises relevant participatory experiences developed in other countries and summarises what has taken place in the Canadian case which helps broaden alternative options which can be considered when designing national strategies.
This technical report presents a set of evidence-based principles to direct evaluation practice. From this, we can observe the evolution of this type of study: pilot schemes, online questionnaires, factors or characteristics which encourage or hinder the success of collaborative approaches and a validation phase. The principles presented are taken from the experiences of 320 evaluators who have participated in collaboration approaches in a wide variety of evaluation settings and from the lessons learned.
This guide aims to discover the value in participatory evaluations and what can be achieved through significant stakeholder engagement. It focuses on what has been learned from conducting participatory activities and which practices have been proved effective. This document explores a balanced approach for greater participation of stakeholders in CIDA evaluations.
This manual (in Spanish) aims to build a tool for staff from Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Government Organisation volunteers and other members which can be used in development programme and project evaluation. Choosing the most appropriate method largely depends on the evaluation’s aims and objectives as well as the availability of human resources and materials for the activities.
This manual aims to be a tool for staff from Private Voluntary Organisations (PVOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Government Organisation volunteers and other members which can be used in development programme and project evaluation. Choosing the most appropriate method largely depends on the evaluation’s aims and objectives as well as the availability of human resources and materials for the activities.
This document (in Spanish) is part of a series of guides directed at facilitators and was developed as a product for the “Information and Knowledge Management for Rural Innovation (Gestión CIP)” project. These guides aim to strengthen capacities in various stakeholders in development. The content is directed at training and supporting facilitators who implement methodology using a participatory approach.
This study revises Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) literature and experiences from around the world, used in different contexts by diverse groups (NGOs, donors, research institutions, governments, grassroot organisations and communities). It introduces the basic notions of PM&E, its applications for different purposes and a set of instruments and methods used including participatory learning methodologies as well as more conventional approaches. Finally, it considers key issues and general challenges which are provoked by the literature and outlines potential areas for future research.
This briefing sets out PM&E (Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation) guidelines. It claims that participatory monitoring and evaluation provides a different approach which implicates the local population, development organisations and policy-makers who together decide how to measure progress and results.
This document is published by UNICEF and aims to foster an international understanding around issues related to the Rights of the Child and facilitate the full application of the Convention on the Rights of the Child internationally. It also proposes establishing a broad framework for research and knowledge within the organisation to support UNICEF programmes and policies worldwide through participatory evaluation methodologies and approaches.
EVALUACIÓN PARTICIPATIVA DEL IMPACTO. GUÍA PARA PROFESIONALES
This guide (in Spanish) (1) proposes a framework to evaluate the impact of interventions; (2) clarifies differences between measuring the process and real impact; (3) demonstrates how impact can be measured in different contexts by using impact indicators which the communities themselves identify; (4) demonstrates the way participatory methods can be used to attribute impact to a project.
This is the English version of the Participatory Evaluation of Impact guide described above.
This concise document sets out guidelines for Participatory Evaluation, its advantages, difficulties, suggestions and practical advice.
This material is part of a theoretical-practical unit which aims to strengthen skills in experienced facilitation and intermediation service providers in order to establish effective tri-sector alliances. The case study which runs through this unit describes the relationship of stakeholders in petrol, gas and mining sectors with civil society and government.
This document (in Spanish) addresses the importance of analysing power for stakeholders which it presents as a tool to aid understanding of how people affect policies and institutions and how policies and institutions affect people.
This guide (in Spanish) aims to help participants fulfil their commitment to create spaces where constructive conversations can be held regarding things that are happening around the world. It deals with divisive topics of public opinion such as abortion, homosexuality and the use of natural resources. It includes instructions on how to host a two-hour structured dialogue as well as suggestions for briefer, more informal conversations in keeping with a spirit of dialogue.
This simple and didactic brief (in Spanish) sets out essential elements for the dialectical methodological concept of popular education, resulting in a valuable document that serves as an introduction to the topic.
This concise document presents empirical studies on participative evaluations, carried out in international settings and focused on inclusion methods used. It is based on the conclusions thus gathered and refers to “the who” (which stakeholders are included and which are excluded), “the why” (reasons to participate) and “the how” (the ways and means) of inclusion.
This study provides information and direction on the value of participatory approaches in order to understand and measure the empowerment of women and girls and measure quality of life and their perspectives. The document intends to inspire professionals, M&E (Monitoring & Evaluation) specialists and policy-makers to measure empowerment in development programmes. It guides practice regarding when, where and how to apply participatory approaches to the measuring process in order to empower women and girls.
This guide develops the most relevant four aspects for capitalising and systematising experiences in order to discover: the process’ preparation, implementation,, its facilitation and institutionalisation of lessons learned. The guide is supported by excellent examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America as well as testimonies from colleagues who have supported these processes.
This guide (in Spanish) provides conceptual and methodological input to strengthen participation from various groups in the evaluation. It has three sections. First, it presents key concepts which relate evaluation to participation. It then describes elements which would facilitate participation in evaluation processes before finally describing activities which facilitate the incorporation of participation in the evaluation process as well as providing practical advice.
LEARNING FROM CHANGE. ISSUES AND EXPERIENCES IN PARTICIPATORY MONITORING AND EVALUATION
The terms “accountability”, “decentralisation”, “democracy”, “diversity”, “participation” and “transparency” are very common in development rhetoric but can be controversial in practice. This book shows how participatory monitoring and evaluation have the potential to bring the rhetoric to real life. The book considers the participatory approach to be one of the biggest barriers and challenges left in development, with implications for learning and change which are at the same time methodological, institutional and personal. Obligatory reading for anyone who wants to facilitate these types of processes.
This document, written in both Spanish and English, offers elements relevant for designing Participatory Evaluation processes in selected cases, developing four dimensions which can be used to evaluate projects. The introduction offers a conceptual and historic understanding of the approach.
This document (in Spanish) features a valuable set of studies which provide understanding on participatory processes. Among others, it includes studies on: systematisation as participatory research (chapter 4), community and participation (chapter 6), enlightenment, democracy and participation (chapter 7), conditions for success and failure in experiences of participatory proposals in Uruguay (chapter 11).
This study (in Spanish) provides a set of ideas and practical examples which can be used by countries in the region to drive the participatory evaluation process in policy and programmes regarding older people. It includes an attractive annex with examples and diagrams showing diverse variants which have intersected and affected each other.
This article features a participatory evaluation carried out in Brazil with young people whose lives have been marked by their participation in crime and who are also included in social programmes. They were invited to participate in the programme’s evaluation team. The experience provokes a reflection on the new technical and ethical challenges in the evaluation process. The text also concisely sets out a new methodological proposal for the field of qualitative research created exclusively for this evaluation called QUADROS and is inspired by comic book literature.
Doctoral thesis (in Spanish) on evaluation processes carried out by community mothers, highlighting the educational side of evaluation. Its primary purpose is to display educational actions through an evaluative lens. The thesis gathers lessons from a group of women who educate their children with primary tools originating from non-academic fields. The approach used reflects participatory evaluation, understood as an investigative process under constant review according to how the work with the children evolves.
This article (in Spanish) presents a model of Participatory Self-Evaluation (PSE), as a strategy for times of change and learning in organisations. It is validated through evaluative research using the cluster evaluation methodology. An important contribution to the study is the evaluation and appraisal plan which is described in detail and was finalised for the initial evaluation. Other valuable contributions were the implementation and results which validated the model.
This study (in Spanish) addresses the intersection between democratising approaches and performance measurement efforts. It recognises that even though they share some similar objectives, such as accountability to citizens, no fluid conversation exists between these positions. The rationale of participatory evaluation is analysed, based on the assumptions of critical theories which reinstate subjects and their experiences as the central focus in constructing reality. Thus, they present some recent perspectives on the public administration debate which are significant when reflecting on participatory evaluation, analysing what this type of evaluation means.
Chapter 10 of the book (in Spanish) “Manual de la participación para los actores humanitarios” (Manual for participation of humanitarian stakeholders), offers guidelines on practical aspects of evaluation which refer to participation. This chapter takes for granted that the evaluator and others involved in the evaluation process will design, manage and carry out the evaluation in accordance with good practice. The study offers a conceptual analysis around participatory evaluation and the leading role given to various groups in the evaluation process and any relevant interventions.
This study (in Spanish) is based on a literature search carried out between September 1998 and May 1999, which led to contact with around a hundred organisations, networks and individuals in the region. It features a literature overview, discussion and reflection on topics related to PME (Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation) in Latin America and provides an annotated bibliography. Different types of references to PME are grouped by theme. There is also a list of organisations with documentation centres which can provide further information or assistance.
This manual (in Spanish) is directed at young people who wish to develop knowledge that leads to action and change. It includes materials to motivate debate and reflection as well as practical participatory evaluation tools. These include evaluation questions, steps involved in the process, methods for information gathering and strategies for generating change.
This guide (in Spanish) emerges from a pilot scheme which applied participatory evaluation methodology in local projects in 5 regions of the Argentine Network of Healthy Cities and Communities (Argentina). It has three sections: 1) the conceptual framework; 2) description of the methodological process to evaluate the project including communication and applying results; 3) general considerations and recommendations to conduct participatory evaluation.
This guide (in Spanish) is the result of an agreement between the Barcelona City Council and the Institute of Government and Public Policy at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. It was created for training, consultancy and support purposes for community teams and processes. It presents material in a simple, user-friendly way and can be used with no prior specialist knowledge. It includes definitions of evaluation, methodological principles and evaluation exercises and instruments.
This study (in Spanish) presents the results of research and documental analysis of participatory evaluation and empowerment over a decade (2000-2010). It includes five focuses which structure the study: (a) the most up-to-date empirical information available on participatory evaluation and community empowerment, (b) selection criteria for communities (case study), (c) development of participatory evaluation experiences in selected communities, (d) data collection process for participants, and (e) a set of indicators of individual and community empowerment.
The Use Oriented Evaluations (UOEs) lead to learning processes through which people make use of evaluation results and experiences in specific contexts. Emphasis is placed on primary users. UOEs do not prescribe any particular content, method or theory. They are more a guiding framework than a methodology. UOEs incorporate a variety of evaluation methods under a participatory approach. An important aspect is that decisions are made in close consultation with those actors who may benefit from the evaluation. This guide is intended for project evaluators and implementers who are interested in testing the EOU approach.
Is it possible to positively influence public policy through self-assessment procedures on the management of establishments that provide public services? This is the question answered by this excellent text by Olga Nirenberg (in Spanish). Under the premise that self-evaluation promotes smart organizations (that learn and transform from reflection on their own practice) such a path is strategic and possible, although not exclusive. An excellent material to learn and replicate in different contexts.
In Western English-speaking contexts, it is highly normal to encounter various stakeholders working together in evaluation processes for community development projects. This often includes the participation of (a) politicians, (b) project managers, (c) project implementers, and (d) service users in order to improve the quality of evaluation results. Furthermore, community project organisers and professionals involved are equipped with evaluation skills so they can carry out evaluations for the programmes they are developing in order to both: 1) better manage resources and 2) improve social and educational initiatives under consideration. Doctoral thesis by Hector Núnez López.
Ample research has shown that participatory evaluation is a formative process which provides important lessons to both the individuals and organisations involved. A qualitative research design is used to monitor three participatory evaluation processes for three community initiatives as part of three Community Development Plans in Catalonia. Interviews are carried out with the community workers responsible for managing these community plans and for facilitating the evaluations. The article highlights teaching elements which emerge from the relationship between these techniques and the stakeholders involved, especially residents and community development professionals.
Participatory evaluation for community actions provides a viable alternative due to the general lack of evaluation culture in community organisations. It is a methodological strategy that involves all relevant voices in evaluation decision-making rather than only professionals. We approach this type of evaluation using social pedagogy. We use theoretical analysis to present a set of work dimensions and evidence for professionals and social agents who opt to evaluate community actions. They are based on theoretical principles and methodological guidelines from participatory evaluation.