Engaging youth as evaluators Assessing and evaluating the effects of programs, classes, activities, and projects can promote Youth Voice in powerful ways. Young people can learn that their opinions are important, and their experiences are valid indicators of success.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
Ways Youth can Change the World through Evaluation
Assessing Youth Programs — Working with adults as allies, youth assessing the programs that serve can provide powerfully effective information and resources for improving activities and outcomes.
Youth as City Planners — Identifying what is happening throughout a community and where it happens is the work of some city planners. When youth are engaged in these positions, they can transform the attitudes, perceptions and outcomes of both city government and local businesses.
Youth Evaluators — Examining the financial, political, social and cultural effects of science, policy and institutions, youth evaluators can see things adults cannot. Its important to understand the differences in their viewpoints, and the possibilities of different approaches.
Things Youth Need to Change the World through Evaluation
Training — Learn how to evaluate for quality, culture, experience and attitude is part of what it takes to become effective youth evaluators. Further, young people can learn how evaluation affects programs, builds outcomes and supports transformation.
Internet — Almost all evaluation work can be supported by the depth and breadth of the Internet by exposing, educating and broadening the power of evaluation projects.
Social Media — Using social media specifically as a tool, youth evaluators can expand and extend their impact and effect. They can do that by connecting with peers, promoting community and enriching conversation, and more.
- “Community Youth as Evaluators” by Harvard Family Research Project
- “Youth Participatory Evaluation” by ACT for Youth Center for Excellence
- “Youth as Evaluators: What’s an Adult to Do?” by Shepherd Zeldin, Cailin O’Connor, and Linda Camino for ACT for Youth Center for Excellence
- “Youth Focused Evaluation” by American Evaluation Association
- “Youth as evaluators: Contested spaces and identity“
Other tools are out there, too – share your thoughts in the comments below! For more information about how The Freechild Project can support youth engagement in evaluation in your community or organization, contact us.