Date and time: Wednesday 19th June 2019 5.30 - 7.00 pm
Topic: Participatory Evaluation: from the Gaza Strip to Sydney Road, Brunswick
Presenters: Tim Budge, Tribal Strategies and Alison Preston, Anglican Overseas Aid
Venue: VicHealth Seminar Room, Ground Floor, 15‐31 Pelham Street, Carlton South
Register online by: lunchtime on Monday 17th June 2019
This is a free seminar organised by the VIC Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our monthly seminar series provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in Victoria and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators. Members are encouraged to bring along colleagues with an interest in the topic even if they are not yet members of the AES. Please pass this onto your colleagues and networks.
Sometimes participatory evaluation really means recruiting community members as data collectors for an externally designed process. If so, participation is tokenistic and a long way from true citizen control, as per Arnstein’s Ladder of Participation. Evaluations rarely acknowledge the community as the centre of its own knowledge, or recognise community members as having their own interests and agenda in evaluating activities that involve their own lives.
This seminar outlines two diverse evaluations which sought to re-centre the evaluation process, acknowledge some of the above issues, and to allow for community initiative and interests in evaluating and learning. The Gaza evaluation involved a team of women who were cancer patients and invited them to co-create an evaluation methodology which would allow them to gain knowledge that would benefit their own groups as well the project implementers. The Sydney Road evaluation invited guests from a community drop-in centre to develop key research questions, conduct interviews and draw conclusions and recommendations for the management group.
The seminar will explore the importance of giving away power as a component of participation, key processes in developing participatory evaluations, as well as benefits and challenges of participatory approaches.
Tim Budge is an independent consultant with 25 years’ programming and management experience in international development as well as a background in local community development work. His PhD research focused on social movements and social change and involved participatory research with informal settlement dwellers in Southern Africa.
Alison Preston is the International Programs and Partnership Manager for Anglican Overseas Aid (AOA), the Australian NGO which supports the Breast Cancer Screening project in Gaza and which commissioned the evaluation facilitated by Tim in 2018. Alison’s original career was as a journalist, and over the years has worked in the Middle East as well as East Africa.