From the outset, we look for the best fit between client requirements, the programming and institutional context of the entity we are serving, and the expertise within the P:N roster.
Over the years, the firm has nurtured a roster with considerable sectoral breadth and geographic experience, as demonstrated on this website, see our Project List.
And we are always looking to expand our network as we encounter additional colleagues – Canadian and otherwise – through our work. Our usual practice is to build interdisciplinary teams headed by a senior P:N consultant. We aim to include men and women, but we are committed to ensuring that all our consultants – men and women – are sensitive to gender considerations and knowledgeable on gender analysis (see note about P:N’s internal capacity building, below).
Each Team Leader maintains a technical role in the assignment while also managing team activities and liaising with the client. Teams call upon the Firm’s “in house” management and administration for quality management, tracking project expenses, invoicing and disbursing funds.
Often, assignments require one person, only. Here too, we supply “in house” management and administration support as well as a collegial “buddy” who, upon request, will act as a sounding board on substantive questions. P:N will only field consultants who have already demonstrated to the firm a capacity to operate solo – i.e. carry out the full spectrum of evaluation tasks, including: work planning; evaluation logistics; application of evaluative skills in interview, focus group and observation situations; preparation of sound evaluation reports.
Under the rubric of participatory monitoring and evaluation, P:N often includes program/project stakeholders as co-evaluators. This is done informally (without pay) and with the agreement of the client. In this scenario, community and/or institution stakeholders and project staff put their evaluation hats on and accompany the team on field visits. Sometimes they join the team only for a day or single visit.
Our requirements are that: individuals understand the nature of the evaluation, have an important insight to share in relation to the area of inquiry, and that they are willing to share key observations from their participation to be included in the analysis of findings. It is understood by the client and P:N, that these individuals have a stake in what is being evaluated and, as such, could introduce unwanted bias.
We would be cautious about engaging co-evaluators at all if there is not a foundation of trust and comfort within the program/project setting.