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So that the poor count more: using participatory methods for impact evaluation


  • Robert Chambers


The starting point for an evaluation is to ask why it is being conducted, who will benefit, and what impact the evaluation itself will have and how. Participatory approaches and methods fit in a paradigm that is pluralist, evolutionary, and iterative. They include stakeholder analysis, individual story-telling, participatory social mapping, causal-linkage and trend and change diagramming, scoring, and brainstorming on programme strengths and weaknesses. Well designed and facilitated, participatory methods are rigorous and besides offering qualitative insights can count the uncountable, and generate statistics for relevant dimensions that would otherwise be overlooked or regarded as purely qualitative. They open studies to the voices of those most affected by a project in a way not possible using more conventional methods and can make the realities and experiences of poor people count more.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Chambers, 2009. "So that the poor count more: using participatory methods for impact evaluation," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(3), pages 243-246.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:243-246
    DOI: 10.1080/19439340903137199

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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Lisa C. & Khan, Faheem & Frankenberger, Timothy R. & Wadud, A.K.M. Abdul, 2013. "Admissible Evidence in the Court of Development Evaluation? The Impact of CARE’s SHOUHARDO Project on Child Stunting in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 196-216.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:202-209 is not listed on IDEAS


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