4 July 2024

Online, 12:00 - 13:00 BST

WEBINAR – Who is an Evaluator?

What should the role of professionals be in forwarding participatory approaches to research and evaluation?

Join us for another Birthday Event as we celebrate our 30th anniversary.​


This is the first in a two-part webinar series hosted by The Young Foundation on behalf of the UK Evaluation Society.

We’ll be exploring what it means to embrace participatory principles and methods in research and evaluation and sharing learnings from across our work about what’s needed to shift mindsets and practice to embed and value equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Firstly, we’ll be looking at research findings from our study into EDI and the professions which we published in our ‘Beyond Buzzwords’ report. We’ll use this as a prompt to reflect on what it means to be a professional and what this should mean for inclusive evaluation practice.

We hope to situate this discussion alongside our broader work to promote the ‘power of participation’. We’ll look at what it takes to enable and support participatory research and evaluation – drawing on themes emerging from our Citizen Science Collaboration Grants programme with UKRI to highlight questions on experiences, ethics, partnerships and impact.

We hope this will be a collaborative space to share and learn together, supporting conversations to shape a fairer future for the UK’s evaluation profession.

For more information about the topics being covered:


Presented by:

Al Mathers

Director of Research, The Young Foundation

Al is Director of Research and joined the Young Foundation in 2023. Prior to this she was Director of Research and Learning at The RSA and Head of Research at Good Things Foundation. Before moving to the charity sector Al worked in academia, where her work focused on research partnerships with underrepresented groups redesigning participatory approaches to landscape architecture and urban design. She brings over 15 years’ experience leading research and evaluation teams and taking a strategic approach to participatory practice in order to create lasting local and national impact.

Al is passionate about The Young Foundation’s commitment to realising a fairer future with communities, and supporting evidence driven social change. As an expert in participatory research and digital inclusion, Al holds a number of advisory board positions including INCLUDE+, Developing a minimum digital living standard for households with children and Equity for the Older: Beyond Digital Access. She is committed to cross sector impact, and improving understanding and collaboration between policymakers, academia, businesses and charities.


Sian Whyte

Head of Strategic Design & Insight, The Young Foundation

Having spent over the last decade working across both programme delivery and advocacy, Siân is passionate about enabling organisations to understand and increase their impact.

She specialises in mixed methods approaches and has significant experience in delivering learning and evaluation programmes, with a keen interest in how such processes can be equitable, participatory and build capacity for all involved. At The Young Foundation, her work bridges our research and innovation practice, where she leads a portfolio of research and design projects for national and local partners. She was previously Citizen Advice’s Head of Impact and Evaluation, managing the evaluation plans for all aspects of service delivery across England and Wales, leading work on the organisation’s social value and impact reporting, and providing guidance to local charities. She was also Head of Research and Insight at Design Council, developing new processes and metrics to understand the social, economic and environmental impact of design in the UK and globally.


Alice Bell

Senior Researcher, The Young Foundation

Alice is a social researcher, with rich experience of participatory research methods, and academic training in critical approaches to social policy. With a grounding in feminist, queer and decolonial theory, her interests lie in exploring creative, ethical and inclusive research practices which seek to promote social justice by challenging the power imbalances in dominant forms of knowledge production.

As a senior researcher at The Young Foundation, Alice manages the delivery of varied research, learning and evaluation projects. She is also studying for a Master’s in Gender, Policy and Inequalities at the LSE.


Session Chaired by:

Nick Posford

UK Evaluation Society, Executive Director




In honour of our 30th Birthday, this webinar is free to all attendees!



Slides: available only to UKES members registered for the event

Recording: this event will be recorded. Full version (with Q&A) will be made available to members only for a period of 1 year. Thereafter, Q&A will be removed and the recording made available generally.

Access Details: hosted on Zoom. Access details will be provided after the booking window closes on 3 July at 1400 BST.