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Title: Questions about evaluation methodologies in rural development projects - Case studies from Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique
Authors: Temudo, Marina Padrão
Arvéola, Alexandra
Keywords: Project evaluations
Socio-anthropological methods
African rural societies
Policy decision-making
Issue Date: Oct-2002
Abstract: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are major actors in rural development interventions in Africa. However evaluations of their activities seldom follow the same procedures as government-to-government projects. Self-evaluations using participatory methods, complemented by financial evaluations of the projects budgets by donors tend to be the rule. In these case studies we show how evaluations fail to understand reality behind the scenarios created by development agents and the “hidden transcripts” used by peasants to protect themselves from outsiders. To overcome this problem and introduce a general procedure in development evaluations we propose the use of socio-anthropological methods. The evaluations would be supported by the analyses of the organizational landscape in the target region and of the organizational culture of the implementing organization, and by the study of the target rural society’s perceptions, needs, potentials for self-organization and forms of resistance to undesired external interventions through an ethnographic approach with an actors-oriented perspective. This will imply a coordination of efforts and a political will from the part of the donor agencies and of the recipient countries. The main result would be the creation of an international databank organized by recipient country of organizational landscapes and cultures, of former projects evaluations and of socio-anthropological and ethnoagronomic case studies of rural societies. Meta-analyses of this data would also permit the construction of a typology of organizational settings prone to failure or success of development interventions under given rural societies. That new approach would introduce a learning process on development evaluations and policy decision-making towards NGOs.
Peer reviewed: no
Appears in Collections:CEI-CRI - Comunicações a conferências internacionais

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