Start Network Assembly 2021: Decolonising evidence: locally-led defined approaches of measuring programmes success
21 December 2021
Takeaways from the 2021 Start Network Assembly Explore session: Decolonising evidence: Locally-led approaches of measuring programme success This panel session aimed to explore what alternative approaches to collecting data and measuring success could look like from the perspective of local communities and non-western lenses. It was facilitated by Sanjukta Moorthy (a planning and MEL consultant) who has a special interest in championing diverse perspectives and decolonised frameworks. The three panellists were Saeed Ullah Khan (GLOW consultants, Pakistan) who brings extensive multi sectoral experience especially in large scale survey handling; Anuarite Kabuo (MIDEFEHOPS asbl, DRC) who works for an NGO passionate about contributing effectively to the development of vulnerable communities, children, women, victims of situations of armed conflict; and Pradytia Pertiwi (Rooted Impact, Indonesia) whose work focuses on research and development practice at the intersection of psychology, disasters, development and inclusion, seeking to co-create knowledge with communities.
Calls to action from the session: 1. Challenge the basic framework Begin each evaluation process by asking; why are we evaluating? To be accountable to who? Acknowledge that communities and donors have very different perspectives on what is a good programme. Ensure that alternative evaluation approaches are planned right from the beginning. These need to be considered at proposal and design phase to ensure they are integrated. 2. Let communities lead There is a disconnect with communities, we need to involve them from the start of the project and to not make assumptions around what they value. We need to move away from tokenistic participation. 3. Try out new things Keep innovating and testing different ways to capture the voices and stories of communities and share these with donors alongside more traditional approaches. This may include moving away from logframes and having more flexible approaches. 4. Get donors onboard We always share evidence with donors but mostly the evidence they want. We need to educate them and show them things need to change. 5. Inclusion Important to use approaches that ensure inclusion and capture the perspectives of those groups who are harder to reach such as women and people with disabilities, etc. It is also important to develop tools and adopt a language that is easy to understand to overcome difficulties of involving communities and people who are not fully literate, especially in remote areas. 6. Keep the conversation going Keep taking about this, learn from each other and build a community of practice