Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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Youth Participatory Evaluation and Youth Participatory Action Research: Aligned values and misaligned practices?

Session Number: 1528
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Think Tank
Tags: youth participatory action research, youth program, youth-adult partnership, youth-focused evaluation
Session Facilitator: Julie Poncelet [Independent Evaluation Consultant - Action Evaluation Collaborative]
Time: Nov 08, 2017 (04:30 PM - 06:00 PM)
Room: PARK TWR STE 8205

Other Authors: Kai Fierle-Hedrick
Theme: Learning What Works and Why
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

How can youth-led social change (YLSC) groups effectively use participatory evaluation approaches to assess and strengthen their work? Often these groups engage in youth participatory action research (YPAR) as a strategy to identify campaign topics and plan actions. However, they rarely engage in the next step in the YPAR cycle - evaluation and reflection - that would lead to a new cycle of questioning and research and, eventually, action-taking. When evaluations of YLSC groups are conducted, the most relevant strategy would seemingly be youth participatory evaluation (YPE). However, all too often, these evaluation methods are “afterthoughts” and end up conflicting with the time and energy necessary for youth to lead campaigns and programs; thus, they become another layer of work and aligned (or integrated) into the group’s YPAR efforts. This think tank will present three short evaluation scenarios in which YPAR and YPE processes occurred simultaneously and ran “at odds” with one another. We invite the audience to consider the dilemmas of practices and how to integrate these two approaches into a seamless cycle of ongoing learning for YLSC groups (as well as evaluators!).

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