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Participatory Evaluation

Participatory Evaluation: the feedback loop

Evaluation in PaCSIA’s methodology is not a final report card but a loop in an ongoing process. By adopting participatory evaluation methods, we ensure that the communities involved have a say in judging the effectiveness of the interventions. This fosters a culture of reflective practice, ensuring that lessons learned are immediately integrated into ongoing and future activities.

Impact monitoring and outcome evaluation is built into the action research and action learning process that we have chosen as our methodology. In practice we constantly communicate with different local facilitator teams and other stakeholders and reflect on the successes and challenges of each project. This helps to create opportunities to assess the progress of project activities and to make changes if necessary to adapt and improve the activities conducted.
Our local colleagues also play a crucial monitoring role. They regularly compare indicators with actual practical changes and achievements (or otherwise) and report accordingly (verbal and written reports to PaCSIA). We actively build relationships with other organisations working in our host communities and discuss our projects and interventions. These individuals and organisations often comment on their perceptions of projects and this helps to triangulate data and consider different perspectives. The PaCSIA team collates this data and we engage in reflective practice conversations about and improving. Our Board of Directors acts as an additional monitoring and evaluation body when project teams report back and take directions.
We think of evaluation as an ongoing process which starts in the project design and preparation stage and is a constant part of the action planning, implementation and reflection process. In fact, continuous evaluation is an integral element of the dialogical character of all our our work. The regular check-ins with other like-minded organisations and individuals provide opportunities for knowledge sharing allow us to gather information from different parts of the complex social system that we work in.
PaCSIA’s evaluation and reporting practices can be seen in action in the Bougainville Transition Dialogues Project: The facilitators’ reports capture the numerous questions that communities wish to pass on to their government, particularly about Bougainville’s next steps towards the independence they voted for. They also highlight the communities’ views of their needs, expected to be met through government action. Together with our external project evaluator, Dr Catherine Levy, we have produced a short video summarising the results of the action research evaluation and have provided this video back to the communities involved in the project. A link to the video can be found here: