While there are a wide range of evaluation approaches that can be used to assess projects and programs, when working with community-based issues a participatory evaluation approach is often recommended.
What is it? Similar to community-based research, participatory evaluation involves the active engagement of those who have a stake the in the program – participants, program staff, board members, community members, sponsors, etc. True participatory evaluation is in the hands of the participants, not the program staff or evaluator. As a result, such research can empower participants but requires commitment of the organization.
What use participatory evaluation? A participatory evaluation approach can:
- yield more realistic and relevant evaluation data
- increase the likelihood that evaluation data will be used
- build individual and organizational capacity
- provide an empowering, transformational opportunity for all involves
The next time you are planning a research or evaluation project, consider the feasibility and appropriateness of adopting a participatory approach. To learn more about participatory evaluation, take a look at this 2-page fact sheet.
Questions? Comments? Contact [email protected]Elayne Vlahaki, MPH Program Manager BC HIV/HCV Evaluation Advisory Group