Participatory Sense-Making helps to close the learning loop while creating a space for dialogue between citizens and power holders, making an evaluation more democratic and rights-based, while also rigorous and inclusive.
Participatory Sense-Making, also one of the PIALA elements, involves highly interactive workshops drawing on the Matter Method to enable the collective sense-making and cross-validation by all the stakeholders, of the evidence collected by an impact assessment. These are usually organised before turning to the final analysis and reporting. Participants discuss and make sense of the evidence, assign value to the contributions made to impact, and identify key issues needing more effort.
Small workshops with 30-40 participants are organised with the local stakeholders in a sample of sites that sufficiently covers and represents the entire systems’ population (e.g. of supply chains, local market hubs, etc.) affected by the programme or project being evaluated. Bigger events engaging partners and stakeholders from both the local and the policy and strategy levels (generally > 100 pax) are organised at the end.