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'Exploring Participatory Evaluation’ Learning Event

On the 29th September 2021, the Life Changes Trust hosted an online webinar learning event, entitled ‘Exploring Participatory Evaluation’.  


The purpose of the webinar was to explore the benefits that participatory evaluation can bring, involving peer researchers – that is people with lived experience – in researching and evaluating subjects where they can bring a different level of expertise.  In 2019, the Trust ran a participatory evaluation project.  The exploration of how this worked and some key findings on the project, are captured in the ‘Life As We Know It’ report, which was produced by Media Education and Briege Nugent.

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You can read the full 'Life As We Know It' report here

You can read the Executive Summary here

Read more about our participatory evaluation project and webinar below.


The original intention for our participatory evaluation project, which began in December 2019, was to support young people with care experience to take part in the evaluation of projects funded by the Trust. 

Over the last few years, the Trust has commissioned a range of independent evaluations of our funding initiatives on the young people with care experience programme, and we were keen that young people themselves could be part of this evaluative process – so for example, defining research questions, developing creative engagement opportunities and conducting interviews. 

In late 2019, a group of Peer Researchers were recruited, with the aim of supporting and informing the Trust’s evaluation of our Champions Board initiative, which was being carried out by Research Scotland. From that, Media Education and Briege Nugent produced a report, ‘Life As We Know It’.  The report is a basis of learning how – and what it means – to carry out participatory evaluation.

  • During the webinar, we looked at what impact participatory evaluation – involving people with lived experience – had on Trust appointed evaluators. Liam Docherty, one of the peer researchers, spoke with Nadia Hyder from Research Scotland, who carried out the evaluation of our Champions Boards initiative.
  • We also heard from the perspective of a peer researcher.  This time, Iain Shaw from Media Education spoke with Liam about what the experience was like for peer researchers, and for him.
  • Briege Nugent, an independent consultant who was instrumental in producing the ‘Life As We Know It’ report, looked in more detail at the key learning from this project, the benefits of peer research and the key messages for others who are thinking about their own participatory evaluation projects.
  • We also held a Q&A panel session.  Our panel included Mhairi Reid from the Life Changes Trust, Briege Nugent, Shaun Glowa and Iain Shaw from Media Education, Liam Docherty, a Peer Researcher, and Briege Nugent.

You can watch our full webinar, or you can just watch some of the films, whatever works for you.


You can watch the full webinar below


You can watch Briege Nugent's presentation, below


You can watch Liam and Nadia, below


You can watch Iain and Liam, below


The Trust would like to thank Liam Docherty and all the peer researchers who took part in this project, Briege Nugent, Iain Shaw, Katy McMillan, Shaun Glowa and Nadia Hyder.