The Participatory Evaluation Approach

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