Online Consultation : Use of Arts in Evaluation

Online Consultation: Use of Arts in Evaluation

9th Nov- 6:30 pm India time

Dear Members,

Me and my colleague Rituu B. Nanda from ISST are going to present in Australasian Evaluation Conference 8 - 12 September, 2014.

We will be presenting the process of one of our recently conducted evaluations - evaluation of SABLA programme - "Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls" that addresses the multidimensional problems and challenges faced by adolescent girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years. The objectives of the scheme are to improve the nutritional and health status of adolescent girls and empower them by providing education in life-skills, health, adolescent reproductive and sexual health (ARSH) and nutrition. We conducted a gender and equity focused evaluation. To make the evaluation more participatory, generative and transformative we used elements of strength-approach, community life competence.

We will be presenting our case under the gender and innovative presentation segment. We will focus on the process of evaluation.We have 45 minutes for this.

We do not want to restrict it to  a mere power point presentation We seek your advice and suggestions on ways to make the session participatory and innovative. Request your responses by 2nd of September. Abstract is appended below.


This paper describes an interesting approach where the evaluators recognized the value of using local community knowledge and experience in evaluating a Government of India programme for development and empowerment of adolescent girls. The evaluators tried to integrate participatory and appreciative approaches and looked at the evaluation process through a gender and equity lens.

The evaluators, went beyond the mandate of evaluation and focused on building evaluation capacity by fostering ownership of the programme among stakeholders and encouraging the community to be the active agents of change. Instead of traditional evaluation where evaluators go as outsiders to evaluate, we engaged the stakeholders in evaluation.  All the stakeholders including the funding agency, NGO, the adolescent girls and the larger community were engaged in varying degrees from defining the objectives, designing questions, data collection and data analysis in the context of their aspirations and expectations, so that it could be an occasion for recognition and celebration of their strengths.  The local project implementers and the adolescent girls themselves re-evaluated their own response and used them in particular context to further empower themselves. We used principles of strength-based approach and framed appreciative questions, which recognized the strengths of the community and NGO staff.  This created a non-threatening environment, which stimulated open sharing of experiences. Further, this resulted in reinforcing the evaluation process by improving the quality and richness of data that the community produced itself, which would not have been the case in a traditional evaluation.

Additionally, a gender and equity lens was used to conduct the evaluation in six multi-ethnic districts, populated with religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous population. The gender and equity lens allows recognizing the systematic discrimination based on gender, caste, and class. The evaluation was able to probe whether the programme assessed time, mobility, poverty and accessibility constraints of girls, and accounted for intersectional discrimination.


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Hi Rituu and Dr. Nandi,

I am very poor presenter but as audience I can add few words. Some presenters use films with stories of people. Some people use only data through power point presentations. A focused discussion on the issue which include both (stories and data and findings from your study) with inclusion of audience could be one option. I have seen a tv programme Satyamev Jayate, which is close to my idea. (Don't know how it is relevant to your query but some very initial thoughts).  


I suggest group discussion by participants, I.e for example if presenting findings and recommendations, you share in advance then during the workshop participnats get into groups to discuss the findings and recommendations. Then yourselves as evalu

ators you intervene to explain and or clarify any gaps in understanding or interpretation of the evaluation results. The discussions can include methodology again. Each group then identify a person to present to the bigger group on how they understand the evaluation.

Time allocation can be 10min group discussion and 5 min for presentation by group. Then the remaining time will be for open discussions.

These are my thoughts.



I found a list of tips on making potent presentations. This is courtesy AEA.

Thanks Pramod and Getrude for your inputs! We will let you know how it goes.

Dear Rituu and Rajib,

I guess that now you have got all ideas you were looking for. Yet being part of this community, I was thinking on sharing the voice of voiceless. As in, is it possible to have video recorded of not so articulate participant (perhaps a girl) sharing how does the evaluation process make her feel empowered or different? Professional claim and assumption could be supported by such testimony. This might take care of what is mentioned in the abstract above. 

Logistics do matter, but if possible do explore the scope of this. Interviewing "smart" person would not mean much as I see. In no way I am suggesting that I have done any such thing in past but as you know we all are constantly searching more challenging aspects in our communication. 

Feel free to get in touch if we need to discuss it further. 

Best wishes for your preparation and presentation itself!



Hi Krinna,

Our views match! If evaluation is participatory, the findings should be presented with the community. That is what we did during ISST workshop held at Zorba where you left early. Community from West Bengal, NGO (CINI), Vanita (Ford Foundation the funding agency), Evaluation team (Rajibji, Tanisha and me) we jointly presented the findings.

As facilitator of community life competence approach we leave aside the expert mode and enter the community with a belief in community potential and strengths. We listen and learn from the community, share and exchange and appreciate the community.

My dream is to bring bottoms-up approach in evaluation. If projects are for the communities, they should be measuring their progress. Thanks Krinna for taking out time and your effort. Appreciate it and it also gives me strength and courage.



Hi Rituu,

Sorry for not attending your presentation at Zorba! Yet I am glad that we could be sounding board to each other in our professional journey! 

Just that there is so much to follow up at work on hand and work of others to improve work based on lessons learned.




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