This brief paper argues that a participatory monitoring (PM) system is meaningful and effective only when people are involved right from the inception of the project, given a free hand in setting their own objectives and monitoring indicators. The outsider should aim at developing the institutional capability of local organisations, instead of overburdening them with data collection to fulfil the monitoring requirements of outsiders. The effectiveness of a PM system is questioned when people have to participate in a project designed by the outsiders often using indicators that are alien to them.
ODA Social Development Colloquium
London, December 1995