Purpose and Design


ParEvo is a method of developing alternative past histories or future scenarios, using a participatory evolutionary process  (hence ParEvo). This involves the re-iteration of variation, selection and reproduction. The process is designed to be used by multiple people, to produce a collective good – a set of storylines. In addition, the process generates data on how value has been created individually and collectively.

ParEvo can also be seen as an innovative means of participatory planning and evaluation, which can be used alongside other approaches. When used as a planning tool it can be described as a form of participatory scenario planning. When used an evaluation tool it can be seen as a form of participatory public history.


Process design slide 2019 05 29 Vs 2

A 12 slide PowerPoint presentation produced in early 2019 is available here. Another presentation made at the UK Evaluation Society Evaluation 2019 conference is available here.

Each ParEvo exercise involves 10 steps, explained in detail here


This website documents the design of the ParEvo process, and how that design has developed over time. The core concept was developed by Rick Davies in the 1990s, during the development of his Ph.D. thesis on organisational learning (available here). Its first implementation took place before the widespread availability of the internet, and is described on this 2007 MandE NEWS webpage. 

In late 2018 two pretests of a web-based version were carried out with the help of 23 volunteer participants spread across 12 countries. These pre-tests used a very labour intensive combination of online surveys, Excel spreadsheets, network visualisation software, web page editors and FTP software.

Aptivate has now helped Rick Davies develop a web app to make this process available free and online to multiple parties.  The new web-based version solicits, presents and analyses the contents generated by participants on a more automated, timely and error-free basis. It allows multiple groups to do so, via free accounts on a dedicated ParEvo web site. To try out this app, contact: rick.davies@gmail.com or fill in this form.


Rick Davies owns the copyright to the ParEvo process described on this website. Others can use this process, at no cost, if a request is made to, and agreed by, Rick Davies beforehand. For more information on copyright see:

Limitation of Liability

In no event shall Rick Davies be liable to you or any party related to you for any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, exemplary, or punitive damages or lost profits, even if Rick Davies has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In any event, Rick Davies total aggregate liability to you for all damages of every kind and type (regardless of whether based in contract or tort) shall not exceed the purchase price of the product.

Leave a comment or ask a question

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.