Jo Farmer Consulting

Lived Experience Evaluation

About me

What do I care about?

I focus on building the capability and capacity of organisations to put the person back into the system, and restore individuals’ and communities’ autonomy and empowerment. My work prioritises those who have been marginalised, including people with significant trauma and mental distress, LGBTQIA+ people, and communities impacted by structural violence.

Through my approach to evaluation, I aim to ensure people are heard, have power, and can find and build community. I strive for excellence in everything that I do, contributing to just systems that value the inherent strengths of people and communities.

I work in a way that aligns with my values.

Click the tabs to read more about my values

How did I get here?

I have worked in the Victorian health and social services sector for over 10 years, with roles in not-for-profits, government and corporate consulting.

When I launched my own business in 2019, I was determined to work differently. I have my own lived experience of trauma, suicidality and surviving sexual and intimate partner violence. As a result, I have sought to do the kind of work that supports those with marginalised voices and experiences of trauma to contribute to monitoring, evaluation and policy change.

I have focused on delivering lived experience-led and trauma-informed evaluations. I’m passionate about supporting the research and evaluation sector to grow its capability in undertaking this work.

I have a Graduate Certificate of Evaluation, and I’m working on a PhD at the University of Melbourne focused on approaches to undertaking research with young people who have experienced trauma.

In addition to my work, I enjoy hanging out with my partner and our dog, Bean, cooking delicious food and dreaming about my next holiday. I use my lived experience to contribute to a range of issues that I’m passionate about, including eating disorders, fat activism, and queer stuff. Throughout the working year, I provide my services pro bono or at low cost to projects that align with my personal values and interests.

A queer owned and operated business.
Trans and gender diverse people are welcome here.


Challenging evaluation business as usual

Evaluation has been slow to incorporate people with lived experience, including those with experiences of trauma, into its practice. Lived experience involvement in evaluation is generally focused on data collection. People with lived experience are data points. They provide their information to evaluations through the sharing of their stories and personal data and experiences. Not always, but often, this runs the risk that evaluations are extractive. They draw on our experiences, without facilitating our input into the other fundamental processes of conducting an evaluation.

I want to change that.

What can I help you with?

If you’d like to know a bit more about my past project experience, please get in touch.

How I work

Regardless of what we’re working on together, my approach focuses on:

  • clear expectations, open and transparent relationships
  • collaborating early and regularly
  • a ‘no surprises’ approach, with early identification and communication of risks and opportunities
  • approachable and constructive stakeholder management.

Get in touch

If you want to chat more about how I can support your lived experience evaluation approach, send me an email, or give me a call.

To help me best respond, please let me know a little about what you hope to achieve and how I might be able to help.