This test will help to measure the (more or less) participatory nature of your evaluation. It was itinially developed from a theoretical reflection conducted by Daigneault and Jacob (2009)1 as an extension of work conducted by Cousins and Whitmore (1998). The tool was then modificated as a result of a validation process (Daigneault, Jacob and Tremblay, 20122, Daigneault and Jacob, 20133). The online tool is based on the revised version presented in Daigneault and Jacob (2013).
Participatory evaluation (PE) is defined as a type of evaluation in which non-evaluative stakeholders (as in, those involved in and affected by the evaluation [other than the evaluator], in particular, the managers and beneficiaries of a program) become significantly involved in the implementation of the evaluation. Significant involvement by such stakeholders is defined by a certain level of control on the decisions relative to the conducting of the evaluation. In other words, the stakeholders are real actors in the evaluation; they are not merely data sources or simple observers.
PE is comprised of three necessary dimensions :
- Extent of Involvement refers to the tasks or steps of the evaluative process in which the non-evaluative participants are involved. This process has been divided into four steps. The more steps in which the participants are involved, the more an evaluation is considered to be participatory.
- Diversity of Participants refers to the types of non-evaluative stakeholders who are involved in an evaluation. We have identified four types of participants. The higher this number, the more an evaluation is deemed participatory.
- Control of the Evaluation Process refers to the share of power held by non-evaluative stakeholders in relation to evaluators and evaluation sponsors over decisions concerning the conducting of the evaluation.4
A score is proposed for each of the three dimensions as well as an overall score helping to determine the general degree of participation of your evaluation. If a fully participatory evaluation is the objective you are pursuing, suggestions offered at each step of the test will help you to improve the participation of the actors involved. At the end of the test, you can share your opinion, offer your point of view on the inquiry and the proposed advice or share your own participatory evaluation experience.