Time to measure what matters – join us for a discussion on 9 May!

04 May 2023


Communities most proximate to the development challenges they face often invest their own resources and assets in addressing their local development issues. However, local investment by communities is rarely acknowledged or considered by mainstream development actors, particularly when it comes to the question of measurement. The dominant system of measurement and evaluation tends to be overly technical, laden with jargon that is often subconsciously upheld and perpetuated by those working at all levels of the system. Current systems of evaluation are also often expensive and based on power structures that prioritize measuring what matters to international funders as opposed to what matters to communities, even when they themselves are co-investors through local resource mobilization and community philanthropy. Too often, tangible outputs such as the “number of wells built” are prioritized over other valuable but intangible results such as dignity and justice, reinforcing a system that focuses on measuring short-term gains over long-term processes of change.

What will it take for communities to be treated as equal stakeholders in, and audiences for, learning and measurement processes? How can a more equitable balance be achieved between the vertical accountability requirements of external funders (for example, to tax-payers in a donor country) and systems that emphasize mutuality, transparency, trust and shared learning at the community level? How can the conversation around measurement and evaluation shift from being based on compliance, value for (external) money, and the assumption of distrust towards real learning and exchange between different co-investors, in ways that centre the priorities and needs of communities? In short, what will it take to shift power in the field of monitoring, evaluation and learning?

Join us on 9 May for one of two conversations, that will discuss alternative and emergent approaches that focus on measuring what matters to communities. This webinar will build on the work of over 130 people from civil society around the world who contributed to a consultation paper on Measuring What Matters. The paper by Barry Knight and Dona Doan concluded that organizations need flexibility in what and how they choose to measure, and that other ways of measuring are indeed out there.

These discussions are open to anyone interested in working towards a new kind of conversation and practice about how social change is measured.



Traduction en français disponible

Starting at: 4pm Manila / 3pm Phnom Penh / 1:30pm Delhi / 11am Nairobi / 10am Johannesburg / 9am London



Traducción al español disponible / Tradução portuguesa disponível

Starting at: 5pm Johannesburg / 3pm Accra / 4pm London / 11am New York / 10am Bogotá / 9am Mexico City

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