The course aims to engage participants in thinking about design options and methodological opportunities for improving monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks to move towards a participatory learning practice.
During the course we share a suite of innovative and cutting-edge participatory methods to help participants and the programmes they are involved in to learn about how the changes they desire to support (the impact sought) unfold through the experiences of those engaged directly in the change processes.
Increasingly, donors and NGOs are using complexity aware, learning-based approaches to design and drive their M&E systems. In spite of much conceptual movement towards more learning-based approaches to M&E and adaptive programming, much practice continues to be based on linear, indicator driven methods that fail to capture learning about how change is unfolding or offer insights into how development interventions are contributing or inhibiting it.
Participatory approaches are widely recognised for their ability to deeply engage stakeholders and build meaningful ownership, however, have been heavily critiqued for being too localized. This is true of the early participatory M&E approaches espoused in the 1990s in community development. Methods are now available for quality implementation of participatory processes at scale (with large numbers of people and across broader geographical space) as well as for understanding how use of learning focused M&E can catalyse change processes and scale their outcomes.
This short course builds on the deep historical experience with participatory approaches and methods that IDS has pioneered. It shares new frontier methods for quality implementation of participatory processes at scale together with reflexive practice to engage in a new and exciting area of research and practice – participatory evaluation research.
Both the online and in-person versions of the course combine lectures, plenary discussions, facilitated small group work, peer-learning and self-directed learning. These activities are supported by a reading list, and case study material. The online course includes 12 live facilitated sessions as well as pre-recorded lectures.
Since 2019, the course has been co-convened with Steff Deprez of Voices that Count. Steff brings in a wealth of practical experience in social impact measurement as well as cutting-edge thinking connected to the monitoring and evaluation spaces in Europe and beyond.
The course is delivered by:
Guest speakers and facilitators have included:
Mid- and senior-level development professionals working in government, NGO or community organisations who have some M&E and learning experience and have a particular interest in building more participatory, complexity-aware and adaptive processes.
Past participants have included:
Approximately 21 per course
64 over the three years
Since we began running this course in 2018, we have helped to build the capacity of more than 64 individuals to more effectively design and improve monitoring and evaluation systems supporting participatory and adaptive practice.
Each course has enabled participants to develop their:
Each participant also developed a coherent plan to support personal or organisational goals relating to building a more participatory and complexity-aware processes.
A follow-up survey with participants in 2022, revealed wider impacts of the course. Respondents said the course had led to:
Ripple effects were achieved via one participant who shared their learnings from the course in a ‘training for trainers’ session aimed at strengthening knowledge on participatory evaluation methods with partner civil society organisations in Cambodia.