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Horizontal Evaluation: Stimulating Social Learning Among Peers
Horizontal evaluation is a flexible evaluation method that combines self-assessment and external review by peers. The authors describe how they developed and applied this method for use within an Andean regional network that develops new methodologies for research and development (R&D). The central element of a horizontal evaluation is a workshop that brings together a group of 'local participants' who are developing a new R&D methodology and a group of 'visitors' or 'peers' who are also interested in the methodology. The workshop combines presentations about the methodology with field visits, small group work and plenary discussions. During the workshop, the perceptions of the two groups concerning the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology are elicited and compared; practical suggestions for improvement, often implemented immediately, are stimulated; social learning among the groups is promoted; and further experimentation with and development of the methodology is encouraged.