In February, BetterEvaluation hosted a webinar on working with children in evaluation. Mallika Samaranayake and Sonal Zaveri of the Community of Evaluators-South Asia, presented their participatory approach to conducting evaluations of, with and by children. During the webinar, Mallika and Sonal answered a number of questions from the audience: here we’ve selected some of the highlights.
BetterEvaluation hosted a webinar this week with Sonal Zaveri and Mallika Samaranayake of the Community of Evaluators South Asia, on working with children in evaluation.
Working with children poses particular challenges for evaluators, including safeguarding and enabling children to express their opinion where they may not be used to doing so. In the webinar, the presenters discussed three major issues:
Why children’s voices matter
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups to work with, meaning there's a lot to consider when planning an evaluation that involves children. For example, is the evaluation of children's knowledge, feelings and actions; are we doing evaluations with children; or is the evaluation by children. Involving children requires a different set of skills and tools, especially if the evaluation is to lead to the children's own reflection and empowerment.
It’s a scenario many evaluators dread: the time has come to present your results to the commissioner, and you’ve got bad news. Failing to strike the right balance between forthrightness and diplomacy can mean you either don’t get your message across, or alienate your audience.