EvalParticipativa is a research and outreach initiative financed by PETAS (Research Program on Employment, Environment and Society) at the National University of San Juan (Argentina) in collaboration with Focelac, an evaluation capacity development and networking project in Latin America, run by the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval).

PETAS is a study programme focused on generating and disseminating empirical research alongside its commitment to carry out social empowerment and other outreach activities.

Over the last ten years, PETAS has applied different approaches to public policy analysis and evaluation. These include systematising and capitalising experiences; evaluation as a learning experience; and collaborative and participatory evaluations.

Focelac is an evaluation capacity project to strengthening a culture of evaluation and learning in Latin America with a global outlook financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and run by the German Institute for Development Evaluation together with the Costa Rican Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN). It aims to disseminate good practice and share positive experiences from and with countries in the region.

Other initiative partners

EvalParticipativa coordinates actions with the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Monitoring, Evaluation and Systematisation (ReLAC). ReLAC’s mission is to help strengthen the culture and practice of monitoring, evaluation and systematisation. This social and political process is essential if policies, programmes and projects are to be improved. It also works to create greater transparency and citizen participation; values shared by this community of practice and learning. There are many examples of participatory evaluation experiences and other collaborative approaches developed by ReLAC members in the region. We intend to understand, document and share these initiatives in order to strengthen collective learning regarding these approaches. We also intend to connect with participatory experiences in other parts of the world, especially in the Global South, and insist on rooting all dialogue regarding transformative evaluation in experience-based proposals.

TECHO also participates in this initiative. This organisation, working in 19 Latin American countries, aims to help millions of people in human settlements escape poverty by bringing together the efforts of residents and young volunteers. TECHO is developing a community of practice for participatory evaluation (platform) and will provide opportunities for the practical application of approaches developed in this learning community. EvalParticipativa will invite the TECHO team to become active members of a study group focused on collaborative approaches. This will enable them to adapt developed products to the organisation’s specific needs. For the PETAS and Focelac teams, TECHO’s collaboration means that research and product development can be linked to the daily reality of an organisation that is ideally placed for these types of evaluations. Furthermore, in time, it could become a pilot project for products developed.

EvalParticipativa also partners with the Fundación para la Superación de la Pobreza (Foundation to Overcome Poverty – COUNTRY SERVICE, Chile). This organisation is working to achieve sustainable human development for people who currently suffer from poverty and social exclusion. Since its beginnings in 1995, it has worked alongside the Chilean government and local governments in 16 of the country’s regions, ensuring plurality. Servicio País is the Foundation’s social action programme which selects and trains around 300 young professionals each year who then move to live and work in rural and deprived communities all over Chile. Servicio País has conducted participatory evaluations since 2015 with the objective of making the intervention’s communities and other stakeholders the protagonists in its evaluation results. The programme is currently studying and planning how to expand this methodology to all of its regions in 2020. Therefore, Servicio País can use EvalParticipativa to share its experiences and lessons learned with others, gain new ideas which it can apply to its social action activities and propose areas of reflection regarding collaborative approaches in evaluation.

Recently, the Centro de Apoyo al Desarrollo Local has joined as a partner in this initiative. CEADEL is an Argentine professional NGO created in 1986 in order to technically promote and support the management of local and provincial administrations, as well as community and civil society organizations, around the formulation, implementation and evaluation of social policies (programs / projects). The Center aims to increase the social bargaining power of the most neglected or vulnerable groups, as well as to increase their values ​​and capacities of citizens in terms of claiming rights and assuming responsibility and solidarity in solving the problems that affect them. Their actions aim to contribute to reducing the gap that frequently exists between public policies, their intentions and the real processes of society. It has a multidisciplinary group with an important track record and experience in programming and evaluation, in social management and in the development of activities with and among the poorest and most neglected sectors (children, adolescents, youth, women, etc.), as well as in the effective articulations between different levels of government and between them and social organizations. One of the initiatives carried out by CEADEL in alliance with UNICEF Argentina is the Method for the Self-Assessment of Educational Quality -IACE- that was developed very successfully from 2007 to 2017 in 3,245 schools in the three compulsory levels of 7 provinces of the northwest and northeast of the Argentine territory (see experiences)

You can take part too!

EvalParticipativa invites all individuals and organisations interested in social participatory evaluation approaches to get involved, provided that you are willing and motivated to share practice and learn in a horizontal and collective way. If you are interested in getting involved, you can contact us through the different options available on this page or through the virtual forum, and tell us what you do, how you can contribute and how you would like to get involved.

There are many ways of getting involved, from the simple act of sharing a post from our resource section through to organising a local, national or regional workshop, webinar or any other example of capacity building.

You can also participate by sharing case studies or experiences at a regional gathering that we will host. And, last but not least, you can support us by subscribing to this blog by clicking on FOLLOW.

The important thing is to get involved in strengthening this community of practice and learning.