How do I evaluate a participatory process?

Guidance on how to measure and evaluate a participatory process


  1. Home
  2. Knowledge Base
  3. How do I evaluate a participatory process?

How can evaluation help?

Published: February 16, 2017

Evaluation can help work on public engagement in four main ways: clarifying the objectives of the exercise by finding practical ways to measure / assess success (e.g. by identifying clear criteria for success against the objectives) improving project and programme management and improvement by building in review and reflection as the work progresses, especially on…

Read more

Public engagement in public policy-making

Published: February 16, 2017

Engaging the public in policy-making is an important step. If it is not done well, it can damage the reputation not only of the specific policy initiative but of the organisations developing the policy. There are occasions when public engagement should not be undertaken. For example: if a decision has already effectively been made, and there is…

Read more

Thinking about objectives

Published: February 17, 2017

The overall objective of any public engagement exercise is to get effective public engagement that makes a difference to policy. You may want ideas, commitment, validation, legitimacy, enthusiasm … but the crucial element is that these things can make a difference to the content of the policy. It can be useful to involve the evaluator in formally…

Read more

When to start evaluation

Published: February 17, 2017

It is often thought that evaluation comes at the end, to see what has been achieved. Evaluation at the end will be essential so that the complete process can be assessed. However, it is too late to start thinking about evaluation at the end; the evaluation process needs to start much earlier. It is essential to evaluate early.…

Read more

Measuring success

Published: February 17, 2017

The table below provides a simple framework for assessing the benefits of participation, based on the four generic reasons why engagement is carried out. Table 1.  Assessing the benefits and achievements of engagement   GOALS / PURPOSE     POSSIBLE INDICATORS (examples)   HOW TO GET DATA (examples)   IMPORTANT ASSUMPTIONS (examples)   Improved governance  …

Read more

Doing the evaluation – what should it cover?

Published: February 21, 2017

The content of each evaluation will be different but the basic checklist below describes what needs to be covered in most cases.  The evaluation report needs to provide a detailed picture of the whole engagement process and the policy process within which it fits (if it is related to a specific policy process), as well…

Read more

Doing the evaluation – how to do it

Published: February 21, 2017

There are some basic steps that most evaluation processes will go through, as follows: Scoping the evaluation purpose / objectives of evaluation; limits / boundaries (e.g. timescale, budget, boundaries, subjects to be covered or not); approach (audit or learning approach); level of engagement in evaluation (e.g. getting data from participants, testing results, setting up an…

Read more

After the evaluation

Published: February 21, 2017

There is almost always a need to go beyond simply producing a final report of an evaluation. Further dissemination may include: presentation of the findings to the body commissioning the evaluation articles on the findings for academic and professional journals, newsletters, conference papers etc input to training proposals for more detailed research work based on…

Read more