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Increasing the rigour and trustworthiness of participatory evaluations : learnings from the field

Lennie, June (2006) Increasing the rigour and trustworthiness of participatory evaluations : learnings from the field. Evaluation Journal of Australasia, 6(1), pp. 27-35.

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Abstract

Participatory evaluation and participatory action research (PAR) are increasingly used in community-based programs and initiatives and there is a growing acknowledgement of their value. These methodologies focus more on knowledge generated and constructed through lived experience than through social science (Vanderplaat 1995). The scientific ideal of objectivity is usually rejected in favour of a holistic approach that acknowledges and takes into account the diverse perspectives, values and interpretations of participants and evaluation professionals. However, evaluation rigour need not be lost in this approach. Increasing the rigour and trustworthiness of participatory evaluations and PAR increases the likelihood that results are seen as credible and are used to continually improve programs and policies.-----

Drawing on learnings and critical reflections about the use of feminist and participatory forms of evaluation and PAR over a 10-year period, significant sources of rigour identified include:-----

• participation and communication methods that develop relations of mutual trust and open communication----- • using multiple theories and methodologies, multiple sources of data, and multiple methods of data collection----- • ongoing meta-evaluation and critical reflection----- • critically assessing the intended and unintended impacts of evaluations, using relevant theoretical models----- • using rigorous data analysis and reporting processes----- • participant reviews of evaluation case studies, impact assessments and reports.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 26035
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see Official URL).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: participatory evaluation, evaluation methodology, participatory action research
ISSN: 1035-719X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociological Methodology and Research Methods (160807)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Applied Sociology Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment (160801)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Australasian Evaluation Society
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2009 11:45
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:54

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