Evaluating an Evaluation: A Meta-Evaluation of PAN’s Participatory Approach to the PLDI Impact Evaluation

When Pacific AIDS Network decided to take a participatory approach to the Positive Leadership Development Institute’s (PLDI) impact evaluation, we recognized the novelty of the design and wanted to find a way of tracking the successes and challenges of the process for everyone involved in the project. At the same time, we were interested in better understanding the relationship between the design of the evaluation and quality of the findings it produced; what difference, if any, does participatory evaluation approach have on the end result?

So, while it might sound wild to evaluate an evaluation process (!), PAN decided to conduct a ‘meta-evaluation’ that would help us to learn from our participatory process so that we could improve it for future projects. We also hoped that the meta-evaluation would generate an evidence-based understanding of participatory evaluation so that we could share information about this design with other groups interested in implementing a similar evaluation method. To promote the free and confidential participation of all who were involved in the PLDI impact evaluation, PAN hired Elayne Vlahaki at Catalyst Consulting to conduct a mid-evaluation survey and post-project qualitative interviews with the peer evaluators, PAN staff and Steering Committee members. PAN is pleased to share the results of the meta-evaluation evaluation in this report, and would be happy to speak to anyone about our experiences with participatory approaches to evaluation and research.

Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!WEB-Janice-Duddy
Janice Duddy, Director of Evaluation and Community-Based Research [email protected]