Design Paper for the impact evaluation of the Root and Tuber Improvement & Marketing Program (RTIMP)
This document, jointly authored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Participatory Development Associates (PDA), lays out the design of the impact evaluation of the Root & Tuber Improvement and Marketing Program (RTIMP) in Ghana. Aiming at improving rural poor people’s livelihoods in Ghana through the development of commodity chains for Roots and Tubers (R&T) supplied by smallholders, the RTIMP consisted of three main areas of work: a) linking of smallholders to old and new markets; b) enhancing smallholder R&T production; and c) enhancing smallholder R&T processing.
The content of this design paper is as follows. The first section briefly describes the impact evaluation approach called PIALA. The second section presents the RTIMP Theory of Change (ToC). The third section continues with the Data Collection Matrix (DCM) laying out the assumptions, evaluation questions and methods. The fourth section presents the multi-stage sampling strategy. The fifth section provided an overview of the methods used to inquire the various populations at different levels. The sixth section outlines the approach taken for data collation, quality monitoring, contribution analysis and rating. Finally, the last section shows the timeline for the evaluation. A bibliography, list of references and annexes are added at the end. The annexes include the desk review note, the sampling frame and procedure, the field research schedule, the district data collation table, and finally, the approved budget.
The Paper was primarily sponsored by IFAD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Government of Ghana).
Based on the author's own experience as head of a bilateral agency country office, the paper tells a story about how the donor community became engaged in a conflict about monitoring the Poverty Reduction Strategy. This experience is used to explore donors' involvement in political processes within aid-recipient countries. Their understanding of the national context and the quality of the relations that donor staff establish in the recipient country only partially explain the nature of their involvement. Because they are sustained over time and are not contingent on the country where a staff member happens to be working for a few years there are two other sets of non local relationships that may be more influential. These are membership of the global development cooperation community, of which the country specific donor community is a sub-set, and the relationships back home to the staff member's own country's history, institutions, values and practices. The interpretation of these sets of relations, and the action resulting from this, are mediated by an individual's own personal history and life experiences. Consciously situating oneself with respect to personal and institutional values and relationships would allow individual staff members in donor agencies to reflect upon and explore taken for granted assumptions about the way the world appears to them. It would help them work more comfortably and sensitively with the ambiguity, paradox and unanticipated outcomes that they encounter on a daily basis in their goal of reducing world poverty. The paper argues that greater reflexivity would help donor staff and their organisations become more skilled at supporting aid recipients in their efforts.
Las organizaciones promotoras del desarrollo necesitan saber qué tan efectivos han sido sus esfuerzos. Pero quién debe hacer estos juicios, y con qué fundamentos? Normalmente son los expertos externos los que se encargan de esta misión. El seguimiento y evaluación participativos (SEP) es un enfoque metodológico diferente que implica que los pobladores locales, los organismos de desarrollo y los tomadores de decisiones se reúnan para decidir juntos cómo se debe medir el progreso, y qué acción se debe tomar a partir de los resultados de una evaluación. El SEP puede mostrar valiosas lecciones y mejorar la legitimidad de los proyectos de desarrollo. Sin embargo, es un proceso que implica muchos retos para todos los actores implicados, ya que conmina a la gente a examinar sus suposiciones sobre lo que significa el progreso y a enfrentar las contradicciones y los conflictos que surjan al hacerlo.
Going against the flow: the struggle to make organisational systems part of the solution rather than part of the problem: the case of ActionAid's Acountability, Learning and Planning System [ALPS]
This paper is part of the series Lessons for change about organisational learning, resulting from a collaboration between ActionAid, DFID, Sida and the Participation Group at the Institute of Development Studies to explore understandings of learning and to document innovative approaches. The paper looks at the origins of the Accountability, Learning and Planning System (ALPS), an approach to managing the learning and relationships of an international non-governmental agency, ActionAid. Starting with the origins of ALPS in the late 90s, and describing the false starts and factors that mobilised change, the authors go on to describe: the new system and what was unique about it; challenges and successes of introducing the idea and encouraging local innovation with over 30 country offices on three continents; dilemmas and contradictions between the organisation's international systems and the principles of the new accountability learning and planning system and how they were overcome; and the differences made by the new system and the work still to be done. Recognition of the need for participation and downward accountability has been around for a long time. This paper shows that the hard work starts in creating systems that will make it happen. ActionAid is by no means the only organisation which is going through this process. Hopefully some of the insights in this paper will help those on the same journey.
Part 1 (1997): If development means good change, questions arise about what is good, and what sorts of change matter. Answers can be personally defined and redefined. The changing words, meanings and concepts of development discourse both reflect and influence what is done. The realities of the powerful tend to dominate. Drawing on experience with participatory approaches and methods which enable poor and marginalised people to express their realities, responsible well-being is proposed as a central concept for a development agenda. This links with capabilities and livelihoods, and is based on equity and sustainability as principles. The primacy of personal actions and non-actions in development points to the need for a pedagogy for the non- oppressed. This includes self-critical awareness, thinking through the effects of actions, and enabling those with power and wealth to experience being better off with less. Others are invited and encouraged to reflect, improve on this analysis, and write their own agenda.|Part 2 (2004): Since 1997, the polarisation of power and wealth in the world has become even more extreme. The personal dimension is central in mediating every big issue but continues to be relatively neglected. Words and concepts used in development have remained potent. Social capital and sustainable livelihoods have met needs in powerful organisations and have been widely adopted and influential. Responsible well-being, pointing to individual agency, has languished at the same time as the scope for action and impact has been enhanced by growing interconnectedness. The methodologies proposed earlier are needed more than ever. So are new lines of thinking: to complement rights of the poorer and weaker with obligations of the richer and more powerful, worldwide and between all levels; to recognise power and relationships as central issues; to integrate institutional and personal change; to ground pro-poor policies and practice in realism; to think for oneself and take responsibility; to choose words and identify priorities personally; and to seek guidance by reflecting on what a poor person would wish one to do.|Author's summary
Kenyan civil society perspectives on rights, rights-based approaches to development, and participation
This paper goes beyond conceptual debates to explore country level practice around emergent rightsbased approaches to development, and their relationship with more established practices of participatory development. Drawing from the perspectives of a cross-section of Kenyan civil society groups, the paper examines the extent to which these approaches overlap, and evaluates the prospects for an integrated and sustained approach to civil societyÆs questioning of institutional arrangements that foster unequal relations.|Current trends suggest a gradual closing of the chasm between the practice of participatory community development and the practice of rights advocacy: community development NGOs are taking more seriously the notion of peopleÆs rights and entitlements as the starting point for their work, and the need for greater engagement with macro-level political institutions to build accountability; rights advocacy NGOs are responding to demands for active and meaningful participation of marginalised groups in shaping a rights advocacy agenda that is genuinely rooted in communities; and community-based networks are looking inward to ensure internal legitimacy, inclusiveness and non-discrimination. These trends hold promise for an integrated and sustained approach that is potentially more effective in Kenya's new political climate characterised by stronger demands for accountability at different levels. The paper concludes with suggestions on how these emerging trends can be strengthened.
Participants in this symposium consider how evaluators can better provide credible and generalizable information about the effects of increasingly complex interventions.