Participatory Program Evaluation Manual

In by Lisa Hilmi

Catholic Relief Services


This manual is intended as a tool for PVO staff, their NGO and government partners to use in evaluating development projects and programs. The evaluation approach presented here is particularly relevant to process evaluations in which the aim is to assess the program implementation process. This methodology has been used in programs in a number of countries and found very effective. The evaluation methodology focuses on the analysis of program activities and strategies, which have been implemented and on the development of“lessons learned” which can be applied in the future. Given this orientation, it is particularly well suited for use in mid-term evaluations of ongoing programs. The concept of a “participatory evaluation methodology,” used here, implies that program implementers are actively involved in all steps of the evaluation process. While participatory approaches are currently very popular in development programs, it is my belief that participation is effective only when the aim of the participation is clear and when a process to structure and channel that participation is clearly defined. This manual describes a simple and straightforward way in which program stakeholders can be involved in planning and carrying out a program evaluation.