PAR’s Evaluative Effectiveness

There will always be those who argue that Participatory Action Research (PAR) gives up the neutrality, objectivity, and distance that characterize “gold standard” evaluative science. Yet proponents make a convincing case for the usefulness and transformative nature of PAR as an evaluation approach, one informed by a democratic world view that action should not be separate from research. As one leader of the PAR field put it, “you are creating evaluation with legs and a heart, building within institutions a culture of inquiry, building within communities a civic conversation about justice...It’s the closest thing you can get to a 360-degree evaluation; it doesn’t come from just one point of view. . . . It builds an organic capacity for self-evaluation and enables people to take skills to other places.” Said another: “The data are so much richer when the community is involved. There are so many layers of data.”

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Participatory Action Research.