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

Child-focused evaluation: Involving children as their own respondents

Nanmathi Manian, Eddy J. Walakira, Karen Megazzini, Daniel Oliver, Paul Bangirana, Kato Francis
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 11, No 1 | a688 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v11i1.688 | © 2023 Nanmathi Manian, Eddy J. Walakira, Karen Megazzini, Daniel Oliver, Paul Bangirana, Kato Francis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 March 2023 | Published: 28 September 2023

About the author(s)

Nanmathi Manian, Westat, Rockville, United States
Eddy J. Walakira, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Karen Megazzini, Westat, Rockville, United States
Daniel Oliver, Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, United States
Paul Bangirana, Department of Psychiatry, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Kato Francis, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda

Abstract

Background: Undertaking child-focused evaluations using a participatory approach has received recognition in recent years. Such an approach is critical not only to build capacity amongst children and youth but also to increase the rigour, validity and usefulness of evaluation findings.

Objectives: The current paper builds on the methods used in a longitudinal evaluation of a parenting programme on reintegration outcomes of children, ages 1–13 years, living in residential care facilities in Uganda. The procedures used to select and modify measures to enable 8–13-year-old children to self-report on their own outcomes are described.

Method: Using a grounded theory of child development, the authors describe the data collection protocols and child-friendly measures used as well as the piloting work that was done by engaging children in the feedback process.

Results: The study underscored the importance of adapting hybrid methods to the local context of a child-focused evaluation, especially in collecting data from young children on sensitive topics across a variety of situations.

Conclusion: The process described in this article can be replicated for designing and conducting evaluations that are child centric and have children as informants of their own well-being.

Contribution: The article contributes to a growing body of knowledge on child-focused evaluations by building on a study conducted in Uganda that focused on developing child-centric measures and data collection procedures. This study shows how to involve children as respondents and assists evaluators to design studies that are ethical, safe, and sensitive to the needs of the children.


Keywords

child-focused; evaluation; child outcomes; participatory; parenting; training; data collection; trauma-informed.

JEL Codes

I12: Health Behavior; I24: Education and Inequality; I31: General Welfare, Well-Being

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

Metrics

Total abstract views: 825
Total article views: 833


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.