Meta-evaluation to improve learning, evaluation capacity development and sustainability : Findings from a participatory evaluation project in Nepal

Lennie, June, Tacchi, Jo A., & Wilmore, Michael (2012) Meta-evaluation to improve learning, evaluation capacity development and sustainability : Findings from a participatory evaluation project in Nepal. South Asian Journal of Evaluation in Practice, 1(1), pp. 13-28.

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Recent studies suggest that meta-evaluation can be valuable in developing new approaches to evaluation, building evaluation capacities, and enhancing organizational learning. These new extensions of the concept of meta-evaluation are significant, given the growing emphasis on improving the quality and effectiveness of evaluation practices in the South Asian region. Following a review of the literature, this paper presents a case study of the use of concurrent meta-evaluation in the four-year project Assessing Communication for Social Change which developed and trialled a participatory impact assessment methodology in collaboration with a development communication Non-government organization (NGO) in Nepal. Key objectives of the meta-evaluation included to: continuously develop, adapt and improve the impact assessment methodology, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems and process and other project activities; identify impacts of the project; and build capacities in critical reflection and review. Our analysis indicates that this meta-evaluation was essential to understanding various constraints related to the organizational context that affected the success of the project and the development of improved M&E systems and capacities within the NGO. We identified several limitations of our meta-evaluation methods, which were balanced by the strengths of other methods. Our case study suggests that as well as assessing the quality, credibility and value of evaluation practices, meta-evaluations need to focus on important contextual issues that can have significant impacts on the outcomes of participatory evaluation projects. They include hierarchical organizational cultures, communication barriers, power/knowledge relations, and the time and resources available. Meta-evaluations also need to consider wider issues such as the sustainability of evaluation systems and approaches.

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ID Code: 52989
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Meta-evaluation, Evaluation Capacity Development, Learning, Nepal
ISSN: 2249-8583
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Statement: Open access.
Deposited On: 12 Dec 2012 23:41
Last Modified: 18 May 2014 22:03

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