Collaboratively evaluating processes and advancing results
Active participation of all actors in an evaluation process is the fundamental idea behind participative evaluation. Participative evaluation allows participants to assess and advance a project’s progress. Participative evaluation initiates and motivates. Grounded in praxis, participative evaluation incorporates the resources and strengths of a project using the Principle of Appreciative Inquiry while taking the project’s framework into consideration.
Participative evaluation is a process of collaboration. An evaluation team accompanies the group, organization, project, or network through the process (over a short or long period). Activities are evaluated on the basis of systematically derived qualitative and quantitative data according to the evaluation design. Users of the process receive tips for self-evaluation and further development, which thereby stimulates learning processes.
Participative evaluation at a Glance:
- Inclusion of all actors in the evaluation process
- Appreciative inquiry as a basic principle
- Elaboration of previous strengths and success factors
- Activation of self-evaluation
- Derivation of suggestions for future development
Brandes, S.; Schaefer, I. (2013): Partizipative Evaluation in Praxisprojekten. Chancen und Herausforderungen. Prävention und Gesundheitsförderung, 8, 3, S. 132-137, Springer.
Ulrich, S.; Wenzel, Florian M. (2003): Partizipative Evaluation – Ein Konzept für die politische Bildung. Gütersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Evaluation des Ideenwettbewerbs Advocate Europe for Stiftung Mercator, 2016.
Evaluation Förderrichtlinie für Demografie Sachsen-Anhalt, for the Ministerium für Landesentwicklung und Verkehr Sachsen-Anhalt, 2015
Evaluation of the online youth participation project „youthpart“ for the Fachstelle für Internationale Jugendarbeit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e. V. (IJAB), 2013-2014
Evaluation Elternprogramm ELTERN-AG for MAPP-Empowerment GmbH, 2010-2013
Evaluation der Thüringer Agentur Für Fachkräftegewinnung (ThAFF), for the Thüringer Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Technologie, 2012
Evaluation Programm Ess-Kult-Tour for the Verbraucherzentrale NRW, 2011-2012
Evaluation Modellprogramm Erste Schwelle, for the Stiftung Demokratische Jugend, 2008-2010Evaluation von KONTEXIS for the Technischen Jugendfreizeit- und Bildungsverein e.V., 2008
Participative evaluation is a method of evaluation which has been growing in popularity since the early 2000s. Brandes and Schäfer (2013) consider the greater likelihood of evaluation results being used and the gain in competencies as the method’s main advantages.
Evaluation approaches are divided into two categories: External (the evaluation is conducted by external parties) and internal (the evaluation is conducted by the actors themselves). External evaluations are further divided into formative and summative approaches. Formative evaluation continually monitors the status of activities by providing regular feedback. This feedback takes note of departures from the planned process at an early stage in order to avoid undesirable developments. Summative evaluation considers and evaluates results at the end of a project. Participative evaluation is a form of formative evaluation in which project actors and evaluators work together. The method aims to acknowledge the strengths, successes, and potential of the group’s/project’s previous activities. In doing so, the method strengthens team trust in order to build on the team’s strengths for future activities.
In addition to qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluation, participative evaluation makes use of aspects of moderation, coaching, supervision, and peer consulting. By including actors in the design phase of the evaluation process, the method increases participants’ willingness to accept and build upon the results of the evaluation.
The method’s repertoire includes motivational and participant-oriented interview techniques as well as opportunities for participation in the execution of the evaluation. The process uses experiences from the field of action research and activating surveys, which have proven reliable in increasing not only the acquisition of information, but also in the gaining of knowledge and the willingness and capability of participants to accept change. The process of asking questions aids in processes of reflection and further development. In this pursuit, qualitative methods are particularly important, as they encourage direct communication with participants. In other words, specific instruments are used which allow for direct feedback: sociometric procedures, participatory observation, interviews, action investigation, scales of assessment, and audio and video recordings.