Youth Participatory Evaluation: A Field in the Making

Youth Participatory Evaluation: A Field in the Making

Youth Participatory Evaluation: A Field in the Making

Youth Participatory Evaluation: A Field in the Making

Synopsis

Youth participatory evaluation (YPE) combines action research and participatory evaluation′s commitment to stakeholder empowerment with the new philosophy of positive youth development, which emphasizes young people as community assets and resources rather than as a source of social problems. This volume illustrates a broad range of approaches YPE advocates have used to enrich evaluation practice and strength programs for youth by involving young people as researchers and evaluators.

Kim Sabo begins by arguing that youth-led evaluation by it′s very nature promotes youth development, because these evaluations constitute Vygotskian zones of proximal development, situations where developmental learning through performance can take place. Les Voakes uses a case study of a conference organized by Town Youth Participation Strategies to illustrate how involving youth in the planning, operational decision-making, and evaluation of programs that directly affect them can benefit both the young participants and the programs themselves. Jonathan K. London, Kristen Zimmerman and Nancy Erbstein provide case studies of evaluation methods that link community and youth development practices. Genevieve Lau, Nancy H. Netherland and Mary Haywood show how YPE can be used as a training process for youth workers, one that enables them to better understand the needs and desires of youth and therefore design better programs for them. Roger A. Hart and Jasmine Rajbhandary examine Nepal′s "children′s clubs", and Save the Children′s YPE-inspired evaluation of these clubs, to show how children can be encouraged to develop their own programs and largely evaluate them by themselves. Bonny L. Gildin describes the All Stars Talent Show Network, an innovative program that unites youth, program funders and adult volunteers in program development and evaluation. Finally, David Fetterman sums up and reflects on the lessons learned by the contributors to this volume.

This is the 98th issue of the quarterly journal New Directions for Evaluation.

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