“This guide, written by Irene Guijt for UNICEF, looks at the use of participatory approaches in impact evaluation…..By asking the question, ‘Who should be involved, why and how?’ for each step of an impact evaluation, an appropriate and context-specific participatory approach can be developed”
- Participatory approaches: a brief description
- When is it appropriate to use this method?
- How to make the most of participatory approaches
- Ethical concerns
- Which other methods work well with this one?
- Participation in analysis and feedback of results
- Examples of good practices and challenges
Rick Davies comment: I like the pluralist approach this paper takes towards the use of participatory approaches. It is practically oriented rather than driven by a ideological type of belief that peoples participation must always be maximised. That said, I did find Table 1 “Types of participation by programme participants in impact evaluation” out of place, because it was a typology with a very simple linear scale with fairly obvious indications of not only what kinds of participation are possible,but which ones are more desirable. On the other hand I thought Box 3 was really useful, because it spelled out a number of useful questions to ask about possible forms of participation at each stage of the evaluation design, implementation and review process. It is worth noting that given the 22 questions, and assuming for arguments sake they each had binary answers, this means there are at least 2 to the power of 22 different types of ways of building participation into an evaluation i.e 4,194,304 ways! That seems a bit closer to reality to me, relative to the earlier classification of four types in Table 1
I think the one area here where I would like more detail and examples is on participatory approaches to the analysis of data. Not the collection of data, but its analysis. There is some discussion on page 11 about causality, which would be great to see further developed. I often feel that this is an area of participatory practice where a yellow post-it note might as well placed, saying “here a miracle occurs”