This paper is one of two documents submitted by Becca Smith related to the use of the SenseMaker approach to evaluate attitudes towards girls’ education in Ethiopia. This brief gives a methodological overview of child-centred research and the use of SenseMaker.
This is a discussion led by Rituu B Nanda regarding Laura Hughston's report which presents a child-led evaluation of a multi-sectoral programme in Cambodia seeking to empower adolescent girls and address the challenges they face accessing quality education. The original discussion can be found on Gender and Evaluation.
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.
Evaluating the impacts of programmes and policies on children presents particular challenges. Many of these are complex and intersectoral, the impacts are often long-term, and children have particular vulnerabilities to harm.
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.
This provides guidance in terms of some basic ethical principles. Respect for persons refers to a competent individual's right to self-determination. Beneficence refers to an investigator's obligation to protect participants from harm and maximize possible benefits. Justice refers to an obligation to ensure that the benefits and burdens of the activity are equitably distributed.
This provides an overview of good practice when involving children in research and evaluation, including a rationale for doing this, ethical issues to address and possible tools to use.
A toolkit developed as part of a formative evaluation by the UNICEF Regional Office of young people's participation in the CEE/CIS region in 2005. It includes an overview of ethical issues and guidance on using 15 different evaluation tools/options with children, plus icebreakers and energizers to use in group activities.