Cover Image
close this bookPHAST Step-by-Step Guide: A Participatory Approach for the Control of Diarrhoeal Disease (PHAST - SIDA - UNDP - WB - WHO, 2000, 137 p.)
close this folderPart II: Step-by-Step Activities
close this folderStep 7: Participatory evaluation
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentActivity: Checking our progress


Seven steps to community planning for the prevention of diarrhoeal disease




7. Participatory evaluation

1. Checking our progress

1. Various tool options

This step is carried out after the community has implemented its plan, perhaps six months or one year after the start of the programme.

The participatory evaluation should involve as many people as possible from the community as well as other community workers, officials, and perhaps representatives of neighbouring communities. This step should be fun and a celebration of the group's achievements. During the evaluation the group will identify:

- how much has been done in the community
- how much of the plan still needs to be done
- what has been successful
- any problems or difficulties encountered
- any corrective action that is needed.

The evaluation can be done in many different ways, for example:

- the group might carry out some evaluation activities itself and share the results with the wider community by displaying the materials where they can be seen by all

- the group might decide to involve the wider community in its evaluation activities; for instance, people could be invited to take part in a community event where everyone votes during a pocket chart activity

- or the group could combine the above activities by carrying out some specific evaluation activities separately, as well as organizing a community evaluation activity, such as presentation of a socio-drama about the programme to a wider group.

The group may therefore need to have planning meetings of its own to organize the evaluation or event for a wider group.

Your role is to help the group:

- work out what it wants to do to evaluate its progress
- work out how it wants to involve a wider selection of community members
- work out how to make the evaluation event enjoyable and satisfying for everyone.

It is important that the group decides what it wants to do. So instead of giving detailed guidance, a list of suggestions for different types of participatory evaluation activities follows. If the group has trouble deciding what to do for its evaluation activity, you could facilitate a discussion using some of these suggestions. Choose only those suggestions for the discussion which you think are suitable for the group. Consider the group's level of reading and writing ability, the different kinds of personalities and skills of group members, and how they work together as a team.

Try to encourage the group to prepare a socio-drama if the group is unwilling to try any of the other suggestions for evaluation activities. Community workers involved in PHAST have reported that this activity is usually very well received by the rest of the community and is a lot of fun to prepare.

Activity: Checking our progress

Option 1: Monitoring (checking) chart


· to see if goals have been met


· 2 hours


· tool: monitoring chart made during Step 6: Activity 1
· pens and paper

General guidance

1. Have the group look at the monitoring (checking) chart to review the goals it set. Then ask it to compare these goals with what has been achieved since it made the chart. The group might want to make a record of the differences between what was planned and what has been achieved. Encourage the group to make the comparison in any way it wants, using pens, paper, drawings, words, etc.

2. Once the comparison has been made, ask the group to discuss:

- what has been successful
- any problems.

3. Ask the group to record (in drawings or words) the problems and sort them into:

- problems the community can deal with by itself
- problems the participants do not fully understand
- problems the community cannot solve by itself.

4. Stick the three groups of problems on a wall and ask the participants to decide:

- for the problems it can deal with: what action they will take

- for the problems they don't understand: how they will get more information, when will they do this, and whose responsibility it will be

- for the problems they can't solve: how they will get outside help to overcome these problems.

5. Finish up with a discussion on what was learned during the activity, what was liked, and not liked about this activity.

Option 2: Community map


· to see if the community has undergone any physical changes


· 2 hours


· tool: the community map created during Step 2: Activity 1
· pens and paper
· coloured paper or stickers for marking the changes on the community map
· additional map-making materials - the group might want to make a new map showing the changes


General guidance

1. Have the group look at the community map and either mark on it the changes that have taken place since it first made the map. Or if it wants to, and time allows, it could make a new map.

2. Once this has been done, ask the group to discuss:

- the changes that have taken place
- the difference between what it planned and what it achieved.

3. Continue the activity by following the instructions from point 2 onwards in Option 1.

Option 3: Planning posters and who does what


· to see if goals have been met


· 2 hours


· tools: planning posters and chart from Step 5: Activity 2
· pens and paper

General guidance

1. Ask the group to look at the planning posters and Planning who does what chart and compare what it planned to do with what it has achieved. The group might want to record these differences. Encourage it to do this comparison in any way it wants, using pens, paper, drawings, words, marking the planning posters or Planning who does what chart.

2. Continue the activity by following the instructions from point 2 onwards in Option 1.

Option 4: Pocket chart


· to see if hygiene behaviours have changed


· this will depend on the number of people voting


· tool: pocket chart
· drawings showing selected hygiene behaviours to put on the pocket chart
· enough voting tokens for all the people attending

General Guidance

1. Ask a participant who is familiar with the pocket chart to facilitate this activity.

2. Set up the pocket chart with a behaviour that is to be measured and explain what it is and how it is used. Place a vote yourself to show how to use the pocket chart. Make sure you remove it and explain that it was a demonstration.

3. Position the chart so that people can vote without others seeing and then invite people to come up, one at a time, to place their votes.

4. Once everyone has had a chance to vote, ask a participant to count the votes and display the results. Make sure this is done in full view so that people can see this is being done correctly.

5. Facilitate a group discussion on:

- what the pocket chart has shown
- whether this result is an improvement
- how this result compares with the group's plan
- the reasons why people voted as they did.

6. After this discussion, continue the activity by following the instructions from point 2 onwards in Option 1.


More than one pocket chart activity can be carried out. Examples of subjects that can be investigated using this tool include:

- defecation places
- handwashing
- tasks performed by men and women

- places where water is collected.

Option 5: Community walk


· to observe the community conditions directly to see if goals have been met


· this will depend on the size of the community

Materials (optional)

· pens and paper
· drawing material
· camera, if available guidance

General Guidance

1. Ask the participants to divide up into pairs. (Larger groups may attract too much attention.)

2. Suggest that each pair organize a separate walk around the community and record what it sees. Suggest to participants that they plan their walk at the time of day when they will be most likely to see things relevant to water and sanitation - probably early in the morning or at dusk. They should pay particular attention to:

- the physical changes (e.g. in facilities) that they planned to make
- the types of behaviours they wanted to encourage
- the types of behaviours they wanted to stop.

Encourage the participants to record what they see in any way they like, in words, using drawings, taking photos, etc.

3. Ask each pair of participants to report its findings to the other participants or to the wider community. The findings can be reported back in any way that the participants wish; for example, in the form of a talk, showing drawings, acting out what was seen, singing a song.

4. Facilitate a discussion comparing what was observed in the community and what was planned.

5. Continue the activity by following the instructions from point 2 onwards in Option 1.

Option 6: Socio-drama


· to update the wider community on progress made to date
· to provide an opportunity to celebrate project successes
· to highlight aspects of the project to visitors from other communities, and to officials and donors


· 1-2 hours preparation and rehearsal time

What to do

1. This activity can be carried out in groups of 4-8 people. Invited guests can be given the opportunity to join any of the groups.

2. Give the groups the task using these words:

“Working together, choose one part of the project and make up a short 10-minute story about it. Each group will tell different parts of the story. You can do this in any way you like, using whatever you think you need to tell the story in an entertaining way. Your short play should not take longer than 10 minutes to perform. You have 30 minutes to prepare and rehearse your activity.”

Make sure that each small group is telling a different part of the story.

3. When the groups are ready, ask them to perform their socio-dramas.

4. After the socio-dramas have been presented, participants may wish to discuss any particularly significant events that were not performed.


1. Let each group develop its socio-drama in its own way without your input.

2. Groups will probably use a variety of ways to tell their stories including: music, dancing, acting and humour.

3. This activity is designed to be enjoyable and to create an interesting way of summarizing what the group has experienced and felt during the course of the project. An alternative, more structured approach to this activity would be to ask the group to select 8-15 members to create a theatre performance based on the development of the project. This could be done as much as one or two days before the evaluation closing celebration, in order to give participants more time to prepare the performance.

4. Taking time to celebrate success is very important. Positive results increase the group's faith in itself and inspire it to continue working for change. Discussing problems can have the same effect because it shows that solving these is within the group's power.

5. The group now has the skill and self-determination to continue by itself with the process of introducing the planned improvements to combat diarrhoeal disease. It is also likely that the skills developed during this programme will be applied to other community problems. Over the long term, this should lead to a much improved quality of life for all concerned.


What you might find

You will encounter varying degrees of “success”. Some communities may be ahead of schedule and others may have stumbled early on. But any evidence of improvement provides a base on which the community can build. Moreover, people need to see the results of their efforts. Without these they will lose faith both in what they have learned and in themselves. In your facilitating role, you can help to prevent this from happening by getting the group to identify the improvements, no matter how small. If necessary, you can use the activities you are familiar with to begin the process again. In so doing, you can help the group identify the problems which caused it to achieve less than it planned, analyse these, plan for solutions, select options, develop a new plan, allocate tasks, and monitor and evaluate its results.

Adjusting the programme

The process of monitoring and evaluation is continuous. It provides feedback to the group, enabling it to learn from its mistakes. On the basis of this information, the group can change its plans to avoid problems, thereby working towards a much more successful outcome.