This paper examines participatory evaluation in projects of the NGO PLAN International in Senegal. Through brief case studies it compares the viability of PRA evaluations in urban and rural contexts, and reflects upon the extent to which the methods can be used to reach the least advantaged groups in the communities. A number of criteria are used in assessing PRA as an evaluation tool: limited dependence ono external facilitators; replicability; community 'buy-in' to the process; adaptability to local time constraints; broad participation; reliability of data; turn-around time from data collection to use. The author concludes that PRA is problematic in urban settings if a 'community' is assumed in the same way as in rural areas. Some aspects for improvement (e.g. need to be more focused, and to prevent it from being appropriated by certain groups to the exclusion of others) are discussed.
This brief article starts off by giving basic definitions of monitoring and evaluations. Community mapping is introduced as an effective method of involving the community in assessing the effectiveness of development projects. A simple guide to what mapping is and what it entails in terms of materials is discussed. Under the heading 'steps to follow' the discussion is based around setting targets, involving villagers in the discussion and presentation of findings and record keeping. Two very different case studies from Nepal are used to illustrate the problems that mapping can detect and therefore help solve.
This brief paper is a Technical Note paper (TN) which incorporates the experiences of the ODA and is supplemented by two other guides on similar issues. It starts by detailing definitions of stakeholder participation and describes the extent to which we can at present answer questions on when, why and how to encourage participation. The paper emphasises the importance of participatory approaches for the sustainable implementation of aid programmes and describes how key stakeholders can be identified. A series of steps are also listed to guide the level of participation that is feasible at different levels of the programme and in different sectors. Part two examines how participation can be enhanced in policy reform at the macro-level. The costs of such a move to donors are also highlighted. For projects that emphasise a process approach, it is recommended that local organisations are supported to enhance overall participation. Some methods of doing this are identified including PRA methods before the paper concludes with checklists.
This handbook is an exhaustive and practically oriented guide to carrying out evaluations internally and externally. The booklet is divided into five main sections. The first section explains why built in 'naturalistic' everyday evaluation is valuable and introduces the familiarity of it's process. The second section includes a lengthy discussion on the matter of who the evaluation is for and a discussion of the pro's and con's of internal and external evaluation. Section three begins by questioning whether there is a need to do more evaluations and two different approaches to evaluation are highlighted; an open inquiry approach and an audit review approach. The next section examines how evaluation can be built in as part of an institutions daily routine and the idea of a 'culture of evaluation' within an institute. The final section in the booklet is described as a 'toolbox for evaluation purposes' and constitutes different models of evaluation processes, some associated techniques of evaluation i.e. methods of gathering data and some well known methodologies or paradigms of knowledge. The paper concludes with a list of reference material for evaluation.
This short report written by the Research and Policy Programme on behalf of ACORD examines three different areas of the agency's work in Africa; i) conflict resolution, ii) monitoring and evaluations systems and iii) work on gender. In a workshop that was held in accordance with Birmingham University on the theme of Development in Conflict a number of important issues and decisions emerged in relation to ACORD's continued work in conflict ridden areas. These included; firstly that ACORD's ability to respond to armed conflict or turbulent situations will depend on improving the quality and relevance of it's work in the North. Secondly, that there is a need for greater anticipation and preparedness of conflict situations and thirdly, that decisions to continue work in turbulent areas should reside with project staff and not head office. Lastly, that the nature of turbulent situations requires teams to be able to respond flexibly. In relation to the M&E systems utilised by ACORD, the emphasis was on strengthening the capacity of programmes to use participatory techniques in order to involve communities more in the monitoring of their own work. The findings of each workshop is briefly discussed. In relation to the work of ACORD on gender issues, moreover, a Gender Analysis Matrix designed by UNIFEM is discussed as a tool which is utilised to identify the changing roles of men and women in response to programme activities.
A Field Methodology for Participatory Self- Evaluation of P.P.P. Group and Inter-Group Association Performance.
The introductory section of this brief paper discusses the importance of developing an evaluation methodology that is practical and flexible enough to be carried out by the community in the Peoples Participation Programme of the FAO. Uphoff reiterates that in fact the answers arrived at by the evaluation are in themselves not as important as what is learnt from the process of reaching consensus on such answers. An illustration of what the methodology utilised actually constituted is described in the first section of the paper. In the second section, however, the potential benefits of the methodology are discussed and these are categorised as being; i) that the process is self educative ii) the process is self improving iii) the process allows members of the programme to monitor progress and iv) it has the potential to improve training. Each of these potential benefits are discussed in some detail. The third section of the paper outlines a process for introducing the system in a rural setting in a number of steps. The last section, however, concludes by discussing a variety of issues related to the process of participatory self evaluation including problems of objectivity, comparability of numbers and use of appropriate language. Attached to the end of the document is an extensive section that includes an inventory of questions for group self evaluation and a list of questions for self evaluation. (Shorter version published in Community Development Journal Vol 26 No 4 )
Participatory Impact Assessment as a Tool for Change: Lessons from Recent Experience in Poverty Alleviation Projects in Africa
This document is a conference paper that was presented at a Panel Session on PIA (participatory impact assessment) in Vancouver. The paper focuses on an attempt to use a participatory impact assessment process to foster village level capacity building in poverty alleviation programmes. The paper concentrates on the process by which an evaluation exercise was used as an integral part of the development intervention activity whilst fulfilling the primary objective of assessing impacts. The paper describes the background of the programme which was being evaluated, describes the divergent aims of the evaluation and examines the extent to which the participatory methodology adopted influenced the programme in question. Finally, the paper analyses the wider implications of this approach to evaluation, both for the specific project and the broader network of promoters, implementors and beneficiaries of a more transparent process of development interventions in general.
This paper presents a methodology for participatory evaluation of small group capacities and performance that has been developed for water-user associations in Sri Lanka. The system devised was one of self evaluation and was presented to the farmer groups as a system of self strengthening. The process of self evaluation is described in some detail in the first section of the article which consists of five activity areas in which farmers assess their own performance. The activity areas range from the economic/material activities of the project groups to the organisation and development of the groups. The approach was designed to be an iterative and consultative one i.e. the criteria for evaluation, although initiated by the programme were to be agreed and selected by the program participants themselves. The paper lists the different stages of the process and describes six reasons or rationales for the use of such an approach. Briefly, the paper concludes by identifying some of the more prominent problems associated by this approach.
The short article starts by discussing the role of evaluation as an integral part of the project cycle and goes on to discuss the problems with the conventional approaches to evaluation. From a list of these problems a number of pre-requisites of good evaluation systems are identified. This then leads to a discussion of participatory evaluation with specific emphasis on how this can be carried out using the general philosophy of PRA techniques. Participatory evaluation as a concept within the watershed development project is then introduced and a list of both quantitative and qualitative indicators which are developed within the programme are identified as indicators. These indicators cover all the different sectors or aspects of the project. A list of potentially relevant PRA tools that could be utilised to evaluate these indicators is provided and a table illustrating the most appropriate tools or groups of tools used to measure a specific indicator is designed. The article concludes with a list of helpful points to keep in mind when carrying out participatory evaluation.
This paper reviews the experiences of an organisation called UPWARD in integrating participatory monitoring and evaluation in it's research and development process. The organisation aims to design monitoring and evaluation systems that research and development professionals can engage in jointly with users and also to explore ways of how monitoring and evaluation can be made into a participatory process. The paper highlights the importance of PM&E as a critical but often undervalued tool for successful agricultural research and development. Thirteen vignettes (case studies) are used to demonstrate UPWARD's experience in seeking to operationalise the PM&E approach through it's various field research and development projects. The paper illustrates the diversity of project experiences and illustrates the complexities that are involved. The paper concludes by affirming that there are no shortcuts to effective PM&E, it's a costly process and needs careful planning early on in the project cycle.
This handbook discusses the basic definitions and principles of M&E, including where, why and how evaluation is carried out, and a detailed examination of what qualities are possessed by both good and bad indicators. There is an in-depth discussion of the functions of community based M&E and a list of 'ten steps' is provided to guide in developing and supporting a community based M&E system. Each steps is examined and illustrated with reference to a project in in India. There is also a list of do's and dontÆs in supporting a community based M&E system and a discussion of links that can exist between the M&E systems of an agency such as an NGO and that of a community based organisation. The paper concludes with a discussion of how M&E fits into the project cycle and the importance of fostering the right attitudes towards M&E practice is emphasised.
An Economic Development Institute (EDI) Learning Resource Series of the World Bank. The journal is a case study that describes the process of participation during the implementation of a watershed development program in the village of Pimpalgaon Wagha India. It highlights joint action by a number of stake holders namely; an NGO, Social Centre, government representatives and the local people with case studies, giving an insight into the process of participatory development. It has an overview of the Biomass Resource Base in India, background information of Pimpalgaon Wagha. The study examines the relations between and amongst the various actors involved in the project and the direct beneficiaries, by looking at the impact of the watershed development on various sectors; wells and watershed availability, crop productivity, horticulture, forestry, energy plantation and pasture development, livestock, irrigation, employment and income .
This article outlines a process planning and management approach in establishing a new project for CONCERN Worldwide, in an area of Tanzania. The programme is an integrated rural development programme focusing on food security. The article introduces how the project was conceived and started as a result of serious food shortage, and why full participation in all phases ws a concern. To achieve this, a process planning approach was adopted. The article discusses the features of this approach and its practical implementation. The key factors identified in the successful operation of the process approach are staffing and communication. The advantages and disadvantages of the process are also discussed.
Designing Seed Systems with Small Farmers: Principles Derived From Bean Research in the Great Lakes Regions of Africa
This paper synthesises five years of field research on the bean seed sector within the Great Lakes region of Africa (Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Zaire). The work, conducted jointly by a variety of groups, suggests more effective ways for tailoring seed systems towards specific agro -ecological and socio-economic environments. While some of the recommendations are specific to the bean crop and the region, most can be applied more broadly. The paper is divided into five main parts: observations on the formal system, diagnosis of the informal channels and reflections on seed distribution, genetic management, and seed production. A final section suggests a framework for choosing among multiple strategies to strengthen seed systems for small farmers. The paper notes a need for quality field data on small farmer seed systems as the work challenges a number of the long-held myths.
This is a letter written to Mr. Wolfensohn as a comment on a talk delivered at the professional Bankers Association. The letter specifically refers to an issue raised on not judging by volume, but by results. This is in connection with the way the World Bank judges effectiveness as part of the change management process. According to this letter, judging effectiveness of work in the Bank should be linked to the key question ôwhose reality counts?ö The letter says that the Bank has predetermined indicators for monitoring and evaluation of its operations from its own perspective. In order for the Bank to understand its effectiveness in alleviating poverty, it should try to understand its own biases and to offset them by putting the views of the poor first. In conclusion, the letter says that indicators for monitoring and evaluation should not be determined by the Bank, but by the stake holders. The indicators should remain part of an on-going negotiation process because perceptions change.