Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

Uncovering the Politics of ‘Evidence’ and ‘Results’

Rosalind Eyben – This paper disentangles the historical threads and origins of results-based management and evidence-based policy/programming discourses. She discovers a strong ‘family resemblance’. Both assume that evidence pertains largely  to verifiable and quantifiable facts, and that other types of knowledge have less or little value; both have a particular understanding of causality, efficiency and accountability. The paper looks at how and why these discourses have entered and influenced the development sector and who is promoting them in which contexts  What has been the effect on the sector’s priorities and practices, and particularly its capacity to support transformative development?

Arguing the importance of being critically aware of how power sustains and reinforces the results-and-evidence discourses, Rosalind examines how these discourses generate artefacts (tools and protocols) such as log frames and theories of change that shape our working practices.   When hierarchical ways of working block communications and dialogue, the artefacts trigger perverse consequences but their power is neither uniform nor constant.  Analysing the politics of accountability and the sector’s internal dynamics, Rosalind suggests there is room for manoeuvre to expand and enable more transformative approaches to results and evidence within the sector.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 by in Politics and rights and tagged , .
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