Flexibility & reflexivity
Flexibility & reflexivity: Co-evaluation design is recognised as a flexible process, where participants negotiate evaluation instruments, expected results and thus decide which problems to address with citizen (social) science. The mix of formats, timing, and methods of co-evaluation should reflect the project aims and be adapted to the contextual setting. Plans for the improvement of the project, for evaluation approaches, and impact measures are openly discussed and regularly revisited in a reflexive process.
- Roles of participants may change during the process and co-evaluation needs to react to these changes. It is important to move away from pre-assigned roles for participants and embrace the development some participants may go through during the process.
- Flexibility also refers to what is evaluated – keep an eye on unexpected/unintended outcomes of your actions, both in the research process and in evaluation.
- Flexibility has its limits and is constrained by factors such as time, workload, and scientific rigour. The co-evaluation process needs to be carefully balanced and adaptively managed while considering scientific quality and ethics.
- Reflexivity should be applied throughout the whole co-evaluation process. Regular reflection points should be established to consider whether co-evaluation objectives, methods, formats and timing are still appropriate.