In the context of today’s uncertainty and global crises – such as the Covid 19 pandemic – debates about how evaluation serves decision making, what evidence matters and how it informs policy are ‘fundamental issues’ of our times. Long standing debates about whose voices count when generating evidence, and how equity in outcomes might be understood and achieved are taking centre stage again. This event is organised as part of Participation Research week and co-hosted with the Centre for Development Impact (CDI).
Proponents of participatory evaluation have long argued that in conditions of uncertainty, including diverse experiences of change from different stakeholder groups in evaluation processes, and opening up space for them to shape design and practice, can lead to more robust evidence of how change actually happens, and support broader learning and greater use of evaluation results. In this webinar we reflect on how participatory evaluation methods and practices have evolved and diversified since the participation heyday of the 1990s. We will explore the contemporary landscape of participatory evaluation through the experiences of leading participatory evaluators who use tried and trusted methods, such as Outcome Mapping and Most Significant Change, and novel methods including SenseMaker and Ripple Effects Mapping. We ask what is our collective learning about how to navigate the practice of participation within real-life constraints of contemporary evaluation? This event is part of the launch of the new SAGE Handbook of Participatory Research and Inquiry.
Marina Apgar, IDS Research Fellow
Will Allen, Independent systems scientist, action researcher and evaluator
Rebecca Sero, Washington State University
Tom Aston, independent evaluator and leading evaluation methodologist