PYPA applies so called ongoing and learning evaluation, which is a flexible form of evaluation, which runs throughout the program, replacing the traditional mid and end-term evaluations. As opposed to more traditional forms of evaluations, which by default risk becoming static descriptions, providing limited possibilities for learning during the program, the ongoing evaluation is a parallel and organic process aimed at creating conditions for continuous learning.
The advantage of this type of evaluation is that it is interactive and represents an opportunity to improve a condition or a process. The interaction of the actors of the program (researchers as well as practitioners) creates new common knowledge. The researcher is acting as a catalyst by providing relevant knowledge, and by presenting empirical findings and arguments discussed by interviewees. By continuously returning the findings and observations to the program, the researcher co-create knowledge and build reliable support for decisions thus creating opportunities for more effective program implementation.
In a traditional evaluation, the evaluator works with distance, without allowing him or herself to be involved in what is to be evaluated. Ongoing evaluators, however, should be sounding boards and provide continuous input, critical questions, advice and recommendations based on empirical findings and relevant theories to those who are in the implementation of projects and programs.
The external evaluation in PYPA is done by Eccola.