Moving forwards with participatory monitoring and evaluation (PLA 56)
In this article by Karen Hillyer and Simone Purohit, the authors describe the evolution of a participatory monitoring and evaluation process in Bangalore, India, and the learning through trial and error that took place before a satisfactory process was developed. After asking communities for their help in identifying indicators for M&E, the facilitators realised that they had dominated the process and that only limited participation took place. In the next stage, they worked with self-help groups not just in identifying indicators, but also in deciding how to measure them, who would do this, and how frequently. Despite the selfhelp groups and facilitators working closely together, there were still doubts about the sustainability of the monitoring process because communities did not see the use or value of much of the monitoring. The breakthrough came when the results for one indicator were analysed and shown graphically, so that communities could see the results and discuss them. The facilitators realised that if the full cycle of design, data collection, analysis and interpretation was completed for a single, simple indicator, participants could appreciate the purpose and value of M&E, and gain confidence that they could do it themselves.
Article in: Participatory Learning and Action 56. Co-editors: Holly Ashley, Angela Milligan and Nicole Kenton.
Participatory Learning and Action (PLA, formerly PLA Notes) is the world's leading series on participatory learning and action approaches and methods. PLA publishes articles on participation aimed at practitioners, researchers, academics and activists. All articles are peer-reviewed by an international editorial board. See: www.planotes.org
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