Today’s cartoon inspiration comes from Leslie Groves and Irene Guijt on Better Evaluation: Participation not for you? Four reflections that might just change your mind
For us, “participatory evaluation” requires primary stakeholders to be included as co-evaluators, both to ensure the inclusion of their voices and values in evaluation and to help them strengthen their evaluation capacity. Where principles of empowerment and accountability to intended beneficiaries do not underpin the evaluation process, it is still relevant and possible to include participatory methods during evidence gathering, for example, or to take a participatory approach to survey design, implementation and analysis.
Talking about ‘participation in M&E’ and being precise about what you are doing when you use the term will help clarify different levels of aspiration and align expectations and practice.