Original Research - Special Collection: UNICEF Engaging with Children and Young People

Engaging children to make evaluation products more child-focused

Madri S. Jansen van Rensburg
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 12, No 1 | a684 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v12i1.684 | © 2024 Madri S. Jansen van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2023 | Published: 28 February 2024

About the author(s)

Madri S. Jansen van Rensburg, Resilience Analysis Consulting, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Participation by less-assertive groups is critical to enhancing evaluations. The participation of children is mostly seen in data collection activities. Engagement with children should take place during all the phases of the evaluation process for true transformation of child rights and protection.

Objectives: This article reflects on the process of developing child-friendly materials by engaging with children throughout the process. This article intends to describe the engagement process so that it can be adapted and applied to the development of other materials such as evaluation reports.

Method: The process involved iterative steps from deciding on the content, developing activities to convey the information, creating images and visual elements, editing the information for age-appropriateness and relevance and, finally, testing the activities and disseminating the end product.

Results: The children enjoyed the development of the documents. The documents were more user-friendly for a child audience, which ensured that the information shared was more likely to be understood and used and contribute to child rights work. Flexibility in timing the activities and roles played by children and a celebratory event that acknowledged the contributions of every child contributed to the success.

Conclusion: This process can easily be replicated for the development of evaluation products. This will enhance the likelihood of children claiming their rights and holding programmes accountable.

Contribution: The process as described could be adapted further to enhance child participation throughout the evaluation cycle.



child-friendly materials; child participation; innovative process; child rights; evaluation cycle; children in evaluation; Africa

JEL Codes

I30: General

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities


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