Participatory inclusion evaluation: a flexible approach to building the evidence base on the impact of community-based rehabilitation and inclusive development programmes
In response to the variability, complexity, and cross-sectoral nature of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) programmes and the lack of a structured approach to impact evaluations, an innovative model and set of tools, called the participatory inclusion evaluation (PIE) approach, has been developed. This is conceptualised in an evaluation framework, influenced by diverse evaluation theories and methods used in mainstream international development. Each has its own merits and shortcomings, so we have developed a hybrid to ensure a pragmatic and flexible mixed methods approach. We discuss the theoretical choices made in the evolution of PIE. PIE involves the participation of three types of stakeholders: people with disabilities, the CBR core team, and the network of strategic partners. PIE assesses the impact and the what, how and why of CBR programmes, privileging people with disabilities’ perspectives. In synchrony with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) principles and the World Health Organisation (WHO) CBR guidelines, impact is defined as changes in inclusion, empowerment, and living conditions. PIE was developed using a participatory process, piloted in Uganda and Malawi. It provides a flexible outcome and impact evaluation methodology for CBR, using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data, using an inclusive and participatory approach.