Evaluation 2018: Speaking Truth to Power

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Giving power and voice to minors within evaluation: Long and short-term strategies with adolescent evaluators

Session Number: 1620
Track: Youth Focused Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: adolescents, participatory evaluation, youth voice, youth-focused evaluation
Session Chair: Ian Graham Hopwood [SenEval]
Discussant: Ian Graham Hopwood [SenEval]
Presenter 1: Natalia Kosheleva [Partner - Process Consulting Company]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (03:30 PM - 04:15 PM)
Room: CC - 26B

Abstract 1 Title: Maximizing inputs of younger adolescents as evaluators when long-term engagement is not possible: Applying focus group scenario using change maps in Krygyzstan and North Caucasus
Presentation Abstract 1:

Conducting an evaluation of two multi-site programs working with school children ages 14-16 in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan and North Caucasus, the evaluation team was able to spend only one day per project site; inclusion of children as long-term members of the evaluation team was unfeasible. So evaluators developed a focus group scenario that encouraged participating adolescents to arrive at a data-based conclusion about the worth and merit of the project for them.

The focus-group scenario includes:
- Explaining what evaluation is about;
- Introducing the concept of change and change maps;
- Inviting adolescents to develop their change maps for the project and prioritize outcomes;
- Asking adolescents to make conclusions about project worth and merit based on the changes it created for adolescents.

The presenter will explore how the exercise informed larger evaluation findings and how this innovative method empowers adolescents to judge programs in which they participate.

Abstract 2 Title: Engaging younger adolescent-evaluators throughout the evaluation process: Planning, adapting, and applying Most Significant Change techniques in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Presentation Abstract 2:

An after-school club intervention allowed adolescent-evaluators aged 12-14 to become part of a longer-term youth-led/adult-supported team in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Over 10 months the team completed a full program evaluation cycle: adolescent stakeholders identified evaluation questions of interest, tested participatory methodologies; in the process, proving to adult stakeholders that youth would add an important voice in judging program worth and merit.  Adolescent-evaluators teamed with experienced youth researchers to collect data (change stories), analyze the most significant changes from collected stories.  The presenter will explore how the method was adapted for use by young adolescent-evaluators and explore the mentorship approach by experienced youth researchers that leveraged adolescent-researcher voice.

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

When an evaluated intervention targets young adolescents aged 12-16, adult evaluators become the “power” to whom children have to “speak the truth” about their experiences in the course of intervention. The imbalance of power may hamper adolescents’ meaningful participation in evaluation and inhibit evaluation’s contribution towards better interventions.  Adolescent-friendly and empowerment evaluation approaches can address this challenge.

Presenters will compare two scenarios to giving voice and power to adolescents in evaluation: when an evaluation team can establish a long-term contact with children involved in the evaluated intervention and when it is not feasible. Sharing experiences from evaluations conducted in Kyrgyzstan, Russian North Caucasus and the Democratic Republic of Congo, panelists will discuss framing evaluation using a positive youth development lens, reducing power gaps using adolescent-friendly design and methods (Focus group scenarios using change maps, Most significant change), and offer tips to surmount challenges in engaging adolescents as evaluators.

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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 8, 2018. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 8, 2018 all sales are final. For Evaluation 2018, international attendees and presenters who encounter complications due to the international travel environment will have up to 30 days after the event to request a refund and submit appropriate documentation. No administrative fee will apply for the international requests.