An article on the conceptualisation and the measurement of Participatory Evaluation has recently been published by two members of the PerfEval research team: Daigneault, P.-M. and Jacob, S. (2009), Toward Accurate Measurement of Participation: Rethinking the Conceptualization and Operationalization of Participatory Evaluation », American Journal of Evaluation, vol. 30, no 3, pp. 330-348.
Abstract: While participatory evaluation (PE) constitutes an important trend in the field of evaluation, its ontology has not been systematically analyzed. As a result, the concept of PE is ambiguous and inadequately theorized. Furthermore, no existing instrument accurately measures stakeholder participation. First, this article attempts to overcome these problems by using the works of G. Goertz (2006) and J. Gerring (1999) on concept formation and evaluation to assess current conceptualizations of PE. Second, an amended version of the framework developed by J. B. Cousins and E. Whitmore (1998) is proposed as an alternative to currentconceptualizations. This amended framework is then operationalized and adapted in a participation measurement instrument. The proposed conceptualization and instrument have the potential to contribute to the production of sound empirical knowledge about evaluation and to reflections on PE practice.