This paper is part of the broader series of publications about ælessons for change that look at learning and change in development organisations. Overall the series poses arguments for the importance of reflection on relationships and power in the aid context, document practical experiences of facilitating innovative learning, and stress the need for cultural and procedural change to foster a climate of inquiry and responsiveness. This paper in particular describes the authors' experience of testing and implementing alternative approaches to monitoring and evaluation, and to evaluate institutional relationships. It summarises DFID-Brazil's experience of discussing and defining concepts and principles for working in partnerships. It also reflects on the learning and change that has been stimulated by these discussions in DFID-Brazil, and proposes some lessons for DFID and donor agencies in general about relationships.
This article draws on literature from both monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and organisational learning to explore synergies between these two fields in support of organisational performance. Two insights from the organisational learning literature are that organisations learn through ‘double-loop’ learning: reflecting on experience and using this to question critically underlying assumptions; and that power relations within an organisation will influence what and whose learning is valued and shared. This article identifies four incentives that can help link M&E with organisational learning: the incentive to learn why; the incentive to learn from below; the incentive to learn collaboratively; and the incentive to take risks. Two key elements are required to support these incentives: (1) establishing and promoting an ‘evaluative culture’ within an organisation; and (2) having accountability relationships where value is placed on learning ‘why’, as well as on learning from mistakes, which requires trust.
This article suggests some steps in the theorization and assessment required to improve and understand the logical framework approach towards learning oriented development evaluation. It addresses the following questions: how should one proceed in assessing a planning and evaluation approach; when and how should an LFA be used; should it look at best normal or worst practice; what should be made of a tool which regularly requires the defences that it needs intelligent and careful use and that its failings are contingent, not inherent; what assumptions can be made about the skills and motivation of the average user? what comparisons can be made with alternative approaches? In conclusion the paper states that LFA should be used with care and sometimes not at all. This approach can usefully encourage thinking about purposes, assumptions and data, but become less helpful as we move from planning to monitoring to evaluation.
This booklet describes the genesis, progress and evaluation of five women's participation projects that took place in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia and Uganda between 1996 and 1999. These projects were organised by the Active Learning Centre (a Scottish-based development organisation that works for peoples' rights through education and training) and local NGOs. The overall aim of the booklet is to identify lessons learned and good practice in developing women's participation. The first section argues that the wider dimensions of poverty encapsulated in the concept of social exclusion are useful to understanding women's poverty and the underlying social relations that contribute to women's deprivation. A contrast is drawn between a gender and rights approach to tackling women's poverty, highlighting their respective useful aspects. The use of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) as the key document for the training of trainers and local community education activities is described. The second section presents an overview of women's legal rights within the project countries and highlights some of the main areas of discrimination. It includes examples of reforms seeking to provide greater equality for women. The next section focuses on the development and execution of the women's participation projects, describing their models of operation and organisation, and providing examples of group work activities. It concludes with a series of seven case studies illustrating different aspects of the work of the projects and some of the lessons learned. The fourth section provides examples of the systems used for monitoring and evaluating each stage of the project. The final section reflects on lessons learned, identifying good practices in women's participation projects.
This book focuses on eight UK-based international NGOs engaged in rural development interventions in Ethiopia. The author investigates their attempts to employ participatory monitoring and evaluation systems as a means of assessing, and thereby strengthening, local participation and, indirectly, accountability and institutional learning. Looking at the perceptions and practices of staff in head offices (Addis Ababa) and field offices of local participation and monitoring and evaluation, the study finds that perceptions vary considerably and are influenced by hierarchical levels within the institutions and/ or individual interests and expectations. Exploring the differences between these expectations and the realities in practice, the book highlights that participation is predominantly implemented from a æmeans orientedÆ perspective in this context. The research for the book originated as a DPhil thesis at the Institute of Development Studies, UK. The chapters progress from an introduction and research methodology section, to five analytical chapters titled æperceptions and practices of participation: a focus on local womenÆ; ÆINGO monitoring and evaluation frameworksÆ; æINGO assessment of local participation in monitoring and evaluationÆ; æthe institutionalisation of participatory monitoring and evaluationÆ; and æcreating the space for changeÆ.
Improving forestry education through participatory curriculum development: a case study from Vietnam
This journal article presents a case study of the Social Forestry Support Programme in Vietnam, in which Participatory Curriculum Development (PCD) plays a fundamental part. Beginning with stakeholder identification and analysis, PCD provides an overall framework for educational development. Recognising constraints associated with the process, the paper describes strategies aimed at capacity building, management of stakeholder involvement and planning and evaluation. As different stakeholders learn to learn together through discourse and interaction, the chances of sustainable outcomes from the PCD process should be improved. The dynamic and flexible nature of PCD suggests that there is considerable potential for its adaptation and application in a range of different contexts.