Participation that change evaluation (and maybe also evaluator?)
Participation shows an increasing importance both in social research and in evaluation processes too. In social research the distance between the "observer" and the "observed" is more and more thin, and the participation to the research process grows, as the use of qualitative methods. On the other side, policy making needs a broader participation, to face the reducing legitimacy of public institutions and the growing role played by policies that require an active consensus from concerned people to be effective. The paper stresses the risks implied by a mere overlap of evaluation and research processes and underline the reasons and the ways to maintain coordinated, but differentiated, the two processes.
Keywords: Social research; evaluation research; qualitative methods