Week 3: Working with children in evaluations

Jessica.SinclairTaylor's picture 16th January 2014 by Jessica.SinclairTaylor

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.

To help us understand this kind of evaluation better, we are delighted to be hosting a webinar on children and evaluation, in partnership with the Community of Evaluators, South Asia, on 5th February, from 3-4pm IST (9-10am GMT).

The webinar will cover tools used for evaluations involving children, why it is important to involve children, and when it is appropriate to involve children. We will have two speakers with many years experiences as international evaluators, both of whom have designed and conducted evaluations of, with and by children.

The webinar develops the ideas presented in the paper by Sonal Zaveri published last year by BetterEvaluationa: 'Listening to smaller voices: using an innovative participatory tool for children affected by HIV and AIDS to assess a life skills programme'. The paper details the evaluation of a Life Skills programme implemented by Family Health International (FHI 360), India. The evaluator and author, Sonal Zaveri, describes the evaluation process used to determine how the programme had changed (or not) the lives of children who were infected, orphaned, affected or vulnerable to HIV.

Register for the webinar now.


Mallika Samaranayake, President and Founder Member - Community of Evaluators, South Asia, and Founder member and past President of the Sri Lanka Evaluation Association (SLEvA). Mallika was Regional Coordinator - Asia / Pacific, serving as Core Evaluation Team Member for Phase 2 of the Paris Declaration Evaluation (PDE) and the team was awarded 2012 Outstanding Evaluation Award - AEA. Mallika is also the Technical Lead for the Child Protection in Crisis (CPC) Learning Network Sri Lanka, and has important insights on conducting evaluations with children. 

Sonal Zaveri, Joint Secretary and Treasurer of Community of Evaluators, South Asia, and an international advisor with the Child-to-Child Trust at the Institute of Education, University of London. Sonal has completed a number of evaluations involving children, and will use her experience to discuss about the broad issues surrounding evaluations and children.  


Patricia Rogers is a Professor in Public Sector Evaluation at RMIT University, Australia, and project director of BetterEvaluation. Patricia has worked in public sector evaluation and research for more than 25 years, with government and non-government organizations (international, national, state and local) across a wide range of program areas and agencies. In 2005 she was awarded the Gunnar and Alva Myrdal Practice Award of the American Evaluation Association. Patricia will chair this session.

Simon Hearn is a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute. He specialises in understanding the interface between research and policy, particularly the role that evaluation and organisational learning can play in improving programmes and systems. He is the global coordinator for the Outcome Mapping Learning Community - a global group of trainers, specialists and users of Outcome Mapping, and community facilitator of BetterEvaluation. 

Read more

52 Weeks of BetterEvaluation. Click here to view past features

Image: Youth in the classroom, Deshan Tennekoon/World Bank.

A special thanks to this page's contributors
Communications Officer, Overseas Development Institute.
United Kingdom.


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