Workshop 7. Participatory Evaluation. Concept, Method and Practice


Trainers: Esteban Tapella, Juan Carlos Sanz, Jorge Chavez-Tafur
Level: Beginning/ Intermediate
Language: Spanish/ English (Team will be able to answer questions and support group work in both English and Spanish

Workshop description:

This workshop, which is based on a recent publication of the trainers' “Sowing & Harvesting. Participatory Evaluation Handbook”, concentrates on concepts, methods and practices in Participatory Evaluation, and is based on experiences developed in EvalParticipativa, the Community of Practice and Learning for Participatory Evaluation for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The workshop is organized in four modules.

a. Setting the context: the origins of PE and other participatory approaches to Evaluation. Key concepts and principles; advantages, challenges, potentialities and limitations of PE.

b. The method and the role of facilitation. Describing the PE method, according to (mainly) the following steps: (1) recruiting and training a stakeholder evaluation team; (2) naming and framing the evaluation objectives; (3) asking the right evaluation questions and identifying indicators; (4) gathering information, analyzing it and building consensus on results; and (5) communicating and using evaluation results and recommendations.

c. Tools. Introduction to the wide range of tools that are essential to facilitating the process, such as: semi-structured interviewing, focus group, community mapping and innovative methods like simulation games. It will also illustrate how different tools can be used, such as: individual storytelling, participatory evaluation card games, participatory social mapping, causal-linkage and trend and change diagramming, scoring, and brainstorming on program strengths and weaknesses, etc.

d. Examples/cases. Practical examples will be used during the workshop to illustrate methods and tools that can be used in PE. Based on the selected case, participants will be able to figure out how to design and conduct a PE project/plan in their own organization.

The format of the workshop will vary between presentations, video-documented cases from practice and discussions combined with group exercises, where participants can share their knowledge and experiences in an attempt to apply concepts and tools to real situations. Participants will carry out a simulated participatory evaluation assignment, using some of the concepts and tools developed in the workshop. The didactic material used in the workshop can be later used to replicate the experience in participant’s own institutions and countries.

This workshop is particularly useful for (a) government officials, project managers, and program staff from national and sub-national institutions, directly and indirectly, engaged with evaluation; (b) community leaders and local government authorities with project responsibilities; and (c) evaluators who want to develop technical expertise in participatory and collaborative evaluation and expand their evaluation toolbox.

Learning outcomes:

Upon successfully completing this workshop, participants will have internalized the knowledge and practice that will allow them to answer the following questions:

  • What is Participatory Evaluation?
  •  Which are the guiding principles behind Participatory Approaches to Evaluation?
  • Why would (and why wouldn't) we use Participatory Evaluation?
  • When would we use Participatory Evaluation?
  • Who should be involved (and why) in a Participatory Evaluation?
  • How do we facilitate and conduct a Participatory Evaluation?
  • What type of qualitative and participatory tools can we use for Participatory Evaluation processes?