Going Deep on Participatory and Collaborative Approaches to Evaluation


In the workshop, through a mix of facilitator input and small group activities, participants will (i) review and consolidate their understanding of collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE); (ii) learn about 8 evidence-based principles to guide CAE practice including how they were developed and why they are important; (iii) apply the principles to case examples and self-reflection on their own practice; and (iv) consider strategies for integrating the principles into ongoing evaluation practice. The CAE principles, based on systematic evidence collected from 320 evaluators in North American and beyond, have been launched internationally in English, French and Spanish. The 8 principles are to be used as an interconnected set, with a loose temporal order to reflect on practice, proactively plan and monitor CAE implementation, inform learning, and support the advancement of evaluation theory and practice through research.

You will learn:

  • about 8 evidence-based principles for collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) including their interrelationships and potential applications
  • how to use the principles to reflect on and analyse (i) case examples of CAE and (ii) their own experiences working with CAE (or the experiences of other attendees in the workshop)
  • How to plan future collaborative projects using the principles as a guide and options for potential field tests of the principles designed to add to our knowledge about participatory evaluation practices.


Dr. Brad Cousins is a Professor Emeritus with the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa, having taught and conducted research on evaluation for over 30 years. As a professor, researcher, practitioner of evaluation and evaluation capacity builder he has presented over 120 workshops in Canada, USA, Europe, Africa, India and China. He delivered this workshop for the European Evaluation Society, Maastricht in September 2016 and for the AEA in Atlanta in October 2016. The workshop will be presented by the COVE research team consisting of Hind Al Hudib (University of Ottawa), Dr. Lyn Shulha (Queen’s University), and Nathalie Gilbert (University of Ottawa) based on

Cousins et al. (2013). Arguments for CAE principles. AJE, 34(1), 7-22.

Shulha, et al. (2016). Introducing evidence-based principles for CAE, AJE, 37(2), 193-215.

Cousins et al. (2016). Successful vs unsuccessful CAE, Eval. Rev., 40(1), 3-28.

Whitmore et al., (in press) Defining CAE success, CJPE.

Brad Cousins can be contacted by email at bcousins@uottawa.ca






Experience conducting evaluations, including design, instrument development, data collection, basic quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interpretation, and follow-up.  Experience with collaborative approaches to evaluation would be an asset but is not required.


Sunday, April 30 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Link to CE competencies for evaluators

  • Respects all stakeholders
  • Determines the purpose of the evaluation
  • Identifies impacted stakeholders
  • Attends to issues of evaluation feasibility
  • Uses facilitation skills