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Youth Development and Evaluation

"The activity of engaging youth in the evaluation process is more than a means of improving the quality of the data or ensuring that particular constituencies are heard; it is a process that both mirrors and supports the tenets of positive youth development and leads to stronger and more appropriate programming."

- Kim Sabo Flores (2007)

Resources for Youth Participatory Evaluation

In recent years, a number of resources have been developed to facilitate the practice of youth participatory evaluation (YPE). Some of these are curricula and toolkits that provide step-by-step guidance on how to engage youth in research and evaluation. Other resources include articles and books.

Toolkits and Curricula

Youth-Adult Partnerships in Evaluation: A Resource Guide (PDF)
A solid body of research has been conducted on the processes and outcomes of youth and adults working together on evaluation projects. Building from the research, this Resource Guide offers tip sheets for successful youth-adult partnerships in evaluation, a comprehensive list of data analysis strategies, recommended reading for practitioners, and an annotated bibliography of Y-AP research.

Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth: A Manual for Participation
Available from UNESCO, this manual by David Driskell focuses on how to conceptualize, structure, and facilitate the participation of young people in the community development process.

Participatory Evaluation with Young People (PDF)
From the Program for Youth and Community at the University of Michigan, this workbook offers practical tools and learning activities to use in your community.

Participatory Evaluation with Youth: Building Skills for Youth Community Action
Published in 2007, this curriculum was developed by 4-H faculty members M. E. Arnold (mary.arnold@oregonstate.edu) and E. E. Wells at Oregon State University.

PAR Guide: Promoting the Participation, Learning and Action of Young People (PDF)
Written for both youth and adults, this guide to participatory action research (PAR) gives tips and activities to help communities, programs, or organizations gather information and act on findings.

Reflect and Improve
Offered by the Innovation Center, this toolkit for engaging youth and adults as partners in program evaluation offers case studies, interactive activities, and step-by-step instructions.

So You Want to Involve Children in Research?
This toolkit from Save the Children supports children's participation in research relating to violence against children.

Youth and Adult Leaders for Program Excellence (YALPE) Workbook
Available from University of Wisconsin-Extension, this resource kit is designed for groups that are seeking to promote positive youth development through strategies of youth participation, youth activism, youth voice, and youth-adult partnership.

Youth Involvement in Evaluation and Research
The Harvard Family Research Project conducted focus group interviews with representatives of 14 programs that involved youth in their evaluation and research efforts. This publication includes a description of essential elements of successful research projects involving youth.

Articles and Books

Goodyear, L. K. & Checkoway, B. (Eds.). (2003). Youth Engagement in Community Evaluation Research [Special Issue]. CYD Journal, 4(1).

Sabo, K. (Ed.). (2003) Youth participatory evaluation: A field in the making. New Directions in Evaluation, 98.

Sabo Flores, K. (2007). Youth participatory evaluation: Strategies for engaging young people. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Checkoway, B. N. & Gutierrez, L. M. (2006). Youth participation and community change. Journal of Community Practice, 14, 1-9.

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