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PADev-Style Evaluation for The Hunger Project in Benin, Final Report (2015)

Participatory Assessment of Development


The aim of the PADev project is to design and test a participatory and holistic methodology for evaluating development interventions. Existing methodologies have several shortcomings:

  • They focus on too short a period
  • They are nearly always sponsor-driven
  • They are too narrowly focused on input and output
  • Projects are evaluated in isolation of wider developments in the region
  • The opinions of the supposed beneficiaries are largely neglected

Instead of looking at the interventions of only one external actor, the PADev method first studies changes in a region over a specified period, and then tries to find out which interventions contributed to which changes. This yields extremely valuable information for NGOs in the area: they learn about their own impact vis-à-vis other actors, and in addition, they find out which types of projects have been most effective in that particular geographic and cultural setting. This can be an important lesson for future interventions.

We gather the information about changes and the impact of interventions in three-day workshops in which all layers of the local society participate: women and men, elderly and youngsters, poor and rich, illiterates and university graduates, and farmers and officials.

We organise workshops in nine research areas: three in which there is a long-term and ongoing presence of Dutch-sponsored NGOs; three areas in which there has been such NGO involvement in the past; and three areas with very few external interventions. The research areas are situated in Northern Ghana and Southern Burkina Faso.

Click here for a 10-minutes video in which Prof. Ton Dietz explains the methodology of this project in more detail.

In this research project, the University of Amsterdam works together with the University for Development Studies (Ghana), Expertise pour le Développement du Sahel (Burkina Faso), the African Studies Centre (Leiden), the Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam) and Dutch development organisations ICCO, Woord en Daad and Prisma.



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