Barefoot Guide 5 - E-value-action
What are we aiming to achieve with the Barefoot Guide 5 ?
We want to develop and promote evaluation as a holistic learning practice that can be used creatively to advance a developmental approach and transform the development paradigm. If well designed and used, evaluation can be a most powerful tool for enabling stakeholders of comprehensive social change programmes to collectively navigate their way into a complex future.
The Barefoot Guide 5 seeks to provide a fresh, accessible and practical guide that can be easily used by practitioners, civil society and community leaders, donors, government agencies and professional evaluators.
Within the Barefoot Guide 5 we will explore several questions and issues, amongst which are:
* What have we already learnt about how evaluation can help or hinder social change practices?
* How can evaluation become a welcome contribution to social change practice, enhancing our ability to navigate complex change processes?
* How can we reconcile the seemingly competing needs for learning and accountability or use one for the other? How can evaluation contribute the kind of honesty that enables deep learning and accountability?
* How can we better link evaluation and research? The advocacy component in evaluation is often underestimated. We might look at how evaluation could be fully utilised to promote social change?
* How can we support evaluation that can sustain the process of change and our vision of the world. Evaluation is a political tool that can speak to power. How can we help people to recognise that philosophies/technologies of evaluation are not neutral but value-driven?
What kind of evaluation supports and sustains social change? How can evaluation support & sustain social transformation? How could we define and shape the role of evaluation in systemic transformation - ie. how it contributes - or could contribute to finding new social and organisational forms that are shaped and driven by the most urgent societal challenges of our time?
As with all the Barefoot Guides, this would also be inclusive. Several organisations and practitioners from Asia, Europe, Latin America, US and Africa have expressed interest (see below).
If you represent or are part of an organisation or an evaluation society, a researcher, a consultant, an activist, or a financial and technical partner, if you are interested in this topic, if you can bring innovative ideas or a deep experience, you are welcome to join us too. You can choose to participate more or less actively and to play different roles in this process.
To ensure inclusiveness and diversity, we thought of facilitating processes at different levels, which go into each other, like Russian dolls. At the centre of gravity a common question: how can we transform evaluation so that it leads to social transformation?
This Barefoot Guide will accept speakers of different languages, which will be translated into contextual (cultural) local writeshops. 6 regions are identified :
* Europe, Latin America: Spanish, Portuguese;
* Europe, Africa: French;
* Europe, Africa: English;
* Asia: English;
* Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Russian
* Asia: Chinese
The process is designed in a phased way where the early phases can be used to build the momentum and support for subsequent phases:
• Phase 1: Project development and preliminary research: Evaluate Evaluation - Global Seminar building capacities of regional leaders
Initially a research will be conducted to "evaluate evaluation" conducted for 20 years by F3E, CDRA, and others wanting to take a step back and learn from their evaluations commissioned, conducted or accompanied. This research then guide the questions developed throughout the BG5 process (regional workshops, etc.). This research will seek to distil the lessons we draw from our years of evaluation practices to develop new criteria for a more effective assessment, better calibrated, less standardized, etc. which will significantly contribute to social transformation.
The global regional leaders training seminar (2 leaders by region: one on facilitation, the other one on evaluation) wants to build capacities for the participants to conduct writeshops they will handle at regional scales.
• Phase 2: Regional Writeshops
The second phase is an implementation phase of regional and linguistic / cultural processes. The assumption is made that the cultural component is strong in evaluation and implementation, its precepts and its issues vary according to linguistic contexts.
This second phase will be iterative and provides two writing workshops, individual and collective coaching in the writing process. The result for each region is the publication of a regionalized guide.
• Phase 3: Production, development, training and use of BG5
The third phase is a rise in generality. it plans to return to the overall process from writeshops and regionalized productions. A second global seminar with regional leaders will share regional work and prepare the fifth Barefoot Guide. It will be followed by a process of finalization of writing and publishing.
Finally this phase wants to ensure the valuing of the work. It concerns the launch, promotion, publishing and training for its proper use. This will be done by including a strong component of advocacy to promote the use of a transformed evaluation.
2015 was declared the International Year of Evaluation. This is such a great opportunity to start our process. The time usually taken to produce a BFG is around 18 months.