As community engagement is at the centre of the Bottom-Up Infrastructure (BUI) approach, ensuring it is a meaningful and successful element of the project is essential.
Evaluation is not simply a feedback form for participants once delivery is complete. It is a continual process taking many forms and should instead be planned in from the project’s inception.
Effective evaluation provides a mechanism to reflect on progress and iterate the approach taken as the project develops. It also provides evidence of a project’s impact and how this was achieved, and helps identify key learning from practice that can be scaled up and shared.
Best practice in co-design evaluation focuses on 5 key areas of participation:
- equality of participation
- quality of participation
- effectiveness of procedures
- participant/ stakeholder satisfaction
- value persistence.
The Bottom-Up Infrastructure approach has drawn from a range of evaluation literature to develop a method and tools that are relevant and appropriate for a range of community based co-design projects. Some examples are shared in the tools section of the website, and evaluation is threaded through all of the stages of co-design discussed in the BUI methods.