Original Research

Finding common ground: A participatory approach to evaluation

Carla Sutherland, Barbara Klugman
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 1, No 1 | a39 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v1i1.39 | © 2013 Carla Sutherland, Barbara Klugman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 June 2013 | Published: 01 October 2013

About the author(s)

Carla Sutherland, Gender and Sexuality Law Centre, School of Law, Columbia University, United States
Barbara Klugman, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Background: This article describes the efforts of a group of donors and activists to collectively develop a national base line on organisations working for human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in Kenya to develop an ongoing monitoring and evaluation process.

Objectives: The purpose of the base line was to support both activist strategising and ongoing reflection, and more effective donor collaboration and grant making.

Method: Drawing on interviews with key stakeholders, the authors examined the dominant approach to funding and evaluation on social change globally. They analysed the impact of this dominant approach on developing and sustaining a SOGI movement in Kenya. They developed an alternative theory of change and participatory methodology and worked with a range of donors and SOGI organisations to conceptualise and support the collaborative collection of information on four themes: legislation and policy, organisational mapping, political and cultural context, and lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.

Results: This was a useful process and tool for activists and donors to develop a shared understanding of the current context and capacities influencing efforts to promote SOGI rights. It served as a basis for improved strategising and participants expected it to prove useful for monitoring progress in the longer term.

Conclusion: This theory of change and participatory approach to base line development could be helpful to donors, activists and monitoring and evaluation specialists concerned with supporting social change in the region and globally.


advocacy; social justice; movements; LGBT


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