Social injustice, expanded inequality gaps and the multiple challenges to achieve the SDGs, reinforce the need to boost the potential of evaluation as a tool to contribute to social justice.
What does social transformation mean and how does it look like? Which are, the main social justice-oriented evaluation types and what do they propose in terms of theory and practice, including decolonising paradigms emerging in the Global South? How does power permeate evaluation? Which are, some key aspects that determine the potential contribution of evaluation to social transformation? What is the importance and role of Theory of Change towards social justice and how to use it in evaluations? Which tools, and approaches can help us mainstream a social transformation approach throughout an evaluation? How can we, boost our potential role as transformative evaluators, what do we have to (un-)learn?
These 2.5 day workshop will address these important questions, providing the participants with theoretical, strategic and practical knowledge to equip and empower them as social-justice-oriented evaluators, understanding the complexities, inconsistencies and dilemmas of the current evaluation architecture and practice.
The teaching approach will be dialogic, (self-)reflective and purposeful, using a combination of provoking and inspiring cases and problem-solving exercises to unleash the individual and group potential.
The workshop runs over 2.5 days and will be structured in three parts.
Part 1 will introduce participants to the issue of social justice and transformation, and will explore and analyse different justice-oriented evaluation types and methodologies, their underlying premises, their theoretical frameworks, their methodological and practical implications. This analysis will include transformative evaluation paradigms from the Global South. These will be a joint, critical exercise to discover the strengths, the weaknesses and the pitfalls of the different approaches. A discussion on the current evaluation architecture and practice, including issues and dilemmas like power relations, impartiality and objectivity, will close part 1, which will be covered during day 1 of the workshop.
In Part 2, we will move from theory to practice, starting with a first block dedicated to the importance and use of Theories of Change in evaluations for social transformation. We will then move to the identification of key issues throughout the different phases of an evaluation (e.g. ethics, indicators, participation and cross-cutting approaches, reporting), to provide practical approaches and tools to operationalise sometimes vague or even distorted aspects from a coherent and consistent social transformation perspective. Part 2 will be covered during day 2.
Part 3 will take place during the last half day of the workshop and will be dedicated to analyse current thinking on the role of evaluators, approaches to evaluator competencies and the challenges towards progressive, inclusive and utilisation-focused evaluation. We will finalize the workshop with a “personal plan” that will guide each participant after the workshop to boost its competencies and role as a social-transformation evaluator.
At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
- Explain what evaluation for social justice is and how different evaluation types and approaches address it, identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
- Develop a critical understanding and positioning around key issues that influence the social justice orientation and transformative potential of evaluations.
- Design, plan and conduct social justice evaluations using Theory of Change and different approaches and tools.
- Reflect on their evaluation practice from a social justice perspective.
Mainly for evaluators (as in the Program), but also suited for applied social scientists, activists and programme managers who hire development evaluations.
This is an intermediate workshop, and some previous evaluation experience is required.
Knowledge and practice in or related to development programme evaluation.