Seminar Series- Documentation and Evaluation
Members from six different collaborating groups, including Parent Leadership Project, Partners for Change, El Museo, NYCoRE, and Muslim Community Network joined PARCEO as we explored how to evaluate our work through a Participatory Action Research (PAR) lens. PAR is a particularly meaningful framework for thinking about documentation and evaluation because it is rooted in a community’s experiences, challenges and solutions. When we look at our evaluation processes through a PAR lens, we think about who is part of the conversation and how we can frame an inclusive evaluation and documentation process.
Through our discussions, we affirmed the importance of defining success in our own terms, rather than those set by funders or outside influences and recognized that this often requires asking different questions of ourselves and our work. Throughout the morning, we built our collective resources as participants shared with each other participatory methods of documentation and evaluation that they had found useful in their own work. We acknowledged the tension between the types of evaluations we are often required to do for outsiders and the type of more personalized and participatory evaluations that truly help our work grow. Together we worked to develop tools for addressing both needs within our limited time and resources. Based on the needs and reflections raised by the participants, we created this Documentation and Evaluation Worksheet to help each of us think through our own documentation and evaluation process. We hope it will be useful for you too. Let us know what you think or if you would like more support with this topic!