Humanitarian education project in Sierra Leone

< Back to: Volume 21 - 2006 - Spring
Authors :
Pages:
107-129

Although participatory evaluation (PE) is now widely acknowledged as a potentially useful way to assess international development assistance programs, there is little documented evidence of participatory approaches being incorporated into evaluations of humanitarian aid for populations living in emergency situations. Two principal streams, practical participatory evaluation (P-PE) and transformative participatory evaluation (T-PE), are pertinent to international aid programs. Yet because these two approaches to PE are rooted in different goals and procedures, it is unclear how pragmatic and transformative dynamics can be integral to participatory evaluations of humanitarian aid. The example of an evaluation of a humanitarian education project for displaced children in wartorn Sierra Leone reveals the practical benefits that can accrue from even limited stakeholder participation in the inquiry process. In addition, while the evaluation of rapid education was not a transformative intervention, it nonetheless generated insights into the challenges of fostering incremental social transformation in a post-war context.

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