PAN Presents at the 2018 CESBC Conference on Participatory Approaches to Evaluation

PAN’s Evaluation Team had the pleasure of presenting at the 2018 Canadian Evaluation Society BC’s Evaluation Conference that was titled: What’s in Your Evaluation Toolbox? The program was super interesting, with lots of great presenters.

We were able to present our approach to participatory evaluation in a demonstration session titled: Participatory Approach to Evaluation: Democratizing Evaluation and Embodying Social Inclusion and shared a number of resources with participants, Including a: Conference Summary and Resources Handout and Participatory Evaluation Checklist.

PAN has been doing a lot of work and thinking about participatory evaluation and has come to define this way of working as follows — Participatory evaluation:

  • Is collaborative, change-oriented and inclusive;
  • Has built-in supports to ensure participation of people with lived experience or peers (i.e. fair compensation and acknowledgement of work and access to supportive resources including content experts);
  • Supports capacity bridging[1]– importance of reciprocity of knowledge, skills and capacity amongst all involved stakeholders. Each person has knowledge to contribute and has room to learn; under this value, power hierarchy is minimized and equitable participation is maximized.
  • Is built on mutual respect and trust;
  • Is committed to long-term, sustainable relationships;
  • Is flexible;
  • Builds on existing community strengths; and
  • Ensures methodological rigor and sound ethical practices.

We have found outcomes to using this approach to evaluation include: community- and team-building; shared ownership of process and results; and enhanced utilization of evaluation findings. Ultimately we feel that this approach can help to democratize evaluation and support social inclusion of people not normally engaged in evaluation.

We look forward to sharing more about this approach in the future.

[1] A term proposed by AHA Centre (an Indigenous HIV Community-Based Research Centre)

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