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PADev-Style Evaluation for The Hunger Project in Benin, Final Report (2015)

Participatory Assessment of Development


The PADev Guidebook describes the methodology of the project and aims to assist others in using similar evaluation tools.

Download PADev guidebook (56 pages, 3mb) | Spanish | French

Download a financial note - 'the costs of PADev' (4 pages, 38kb)

Download exercise templates (zip with 9 excel files, 35 kb) | Templates in French

PADev is an innovative toolbox of techniques and methods that aim to achieve a bottom-up assessment of development and change in a particular area over a period of time based on the value systems of the population. PADev is a holistic and participatory approach to development assessment.

PADev can be differentiated from conventional assessment methodologies which often focus on a single agency, project/programme or sector with quite a "technical" expert-driven approach to evaluation of output, effect and sometimes impact. In PADev, participants assess a wide range of changes, projects and agencies based on their perceptions. Further, PADev assessments typically look back at development and change over the past twenty to thirty years. This yields extremely valuable information for NGOs in the area: they learn about their own impact vis-à-vis other actors, and in addition, they find out which types of projects have been regarded as most effective and relevant and more importantly: for whom and why. This can be an important lesson for future interventions. PADev should not be thought of as a replacement for conventional approaches, but rather as an alternative approach that enables a "big picture" of development and change to be constructed for an area.

This guidebook has been written specifically for those interested in implementing the PADev methodology. It begins with an introduction to the PADev workshop setup, before describing the aims and methods of each exercise. The complete PADev methodology comprises nine participatory exercises that can be run in a workshop format over three days, but depending on the objective of the assessment, it is also possible to carry out a selection of the exercises to complement existing assessment approaches. It should be stressed that this guidebook is not intended to be prescriptive. While it does describe what has worked for us, we do encourage further experimentation and adaptation as circumstances require.

Up to this point we have employed PADev only in ex-post assessments. However, as Robert Chambers has pointed out during a recent debate about the PADev approach and preliminary findings, there is also potential for PADev to be extended for use in the development of community action plans. PADev can also be an excellent way for NGOs and even local governments to improve the design of their interventions and their communication with supposed beneficiaries.

We encourage you to share your experiences with us! Please e-mail Prof. Ton Dietz (project coordinator): dietzaj [at]

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