John Donnelly's Blog (4)

The importance of participatory monitoring of outcomes.

In my previous blog, "What's in a baseline" in the last sentence I say, "...we need to put more emphasis on E and less on M in M & E". What I meant to say was exactly the opposite, that is, 'more emphasis on M and less on E in M & E'.

What I failed to do was monitor what I was doing. It was only later, when Rituu Nanda made a comment that I realized my error. But it was too late! This is exactly what happens so often in community development - outputs get monitored instead of…


Added by John Donnelly on March 2, 2016 at 1:51 — 1 Comment

What's in a baseline?

Recently I was in Afghanistan working with an NGO to establish a baseline for a project aimed at improving the participation of women in civic and political activity and also improving women's empowerment. The NGO had engaged me to help them with establishing a baseline after someone had given them my name as a practitioner who has a preference for practical, understandable methods where people can engage on their terms, in preference to using set surveys to extract data in response to…


Added by John Donnelly on February 17, 2016 at 11:26 — 11 Comments

Some thoughts on participatory monitoring and how it can improve gender equity

At the recent Australasian evaluation Society's (AES) conference I found myself thinking more and more about the focus on the E in M&E. That is there is so little said about monitoring. Good participatory monitoring can mean the difference between a successful project and a disappointment.

In the final plenary Professor Patricia Rogers asked what did we, the delegates, consider as a bad evaluation. As I travelled home, 4.5hrs on the train I thought a lot about this. I think a bad…


Added by John Donnelly on September 10, 2015 at 9:00 — 1 Comment

Equality and equity in evaluation

Equity in evaluation: Why is equity so important in evaluation? How can evaluations be better designed to account for equity issues?


I first started to think about equity as an issue in my work as a ‘development practitioner’ as a realistic alternative to the calls by development donors such as the Australian Aid Agency (AusAID) for ‘gender equality’. I say a realistic alternative because in the area of community development, which is where my work is mostly located,…


Added by John Donnelly on September 22, 2014 at 9:30 — 2 Comments

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