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Reversing the paradigm: quantification, participatory methods and pro-poor impact assessment

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  • Linda Mayoux

    (Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, Harold Hankins Building, The Precinct Centre, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9QH, UK)

  • Robert Chambers

    (Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, Harold Hankins Building, The Precinct Centre, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9QH, UK)

Abstract

Recent debates about integrated impact assessment have tended to treat participatory approaches and methods as a fashionable frill added on to more 'expert' quantitative and qualitative investigation. This paper argues that, far from being an optional add-on, participatory approaches, methods and behaviours are essential for the new agendas of pro-poor development and 'improving practice'. Recent evidence shows that participatory methods can generate accurate quantitative data as well as capturing local priorities, different experiences of poor people and potential for innovation in relation to causality and attribution. They can also be cost-effective for focusing quantitative and qualitative investigation. The main challenge is ensuring that mainstreaming them does not compromise their role in giving poor women and men more voice in development priorities, policies and practice. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Mayoux & Robert Chambers, 2005. "Reversing the paradigm: quantification, participatory methods and pro-poor impact assessment," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 271-298.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:17:y:2005:i:2:p:271-298
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1214
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gladwin, Christina H. & Peterson, Jennifer S. & Mwale, Abiud C., 2002. "The Quality of Science in Participatory Research: A Case Study from Eastern Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 523-543, April.
    2. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848, November.
    3. Chant, Sylvia, 2003. "New contributions to the analysis of poverty: methodological and conceptual challenges to understanding poverty from a gender perspective," Asuntos de Género 47, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    4. Robert Chambers, 2007. "Participation and Poverty," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 50(2), pages 20-25, June.
    5. Caroline Moser & Cathy McIlwaine, 2000. "Urban Poor Perceptions of Violence and Exclusion in Colombia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15182, November.
    6. Kabeer, Naila, 2001. "Conflicts Over Credit: Re-Evaluating the Empowerment Potential of Loans to Women in Rural Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 63-84, January.
    7. Hulme, David, 2000. "Impact Assessment Methodologies for Microfinance: Theory, Experience and Better Practice," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 79-98, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:173-185 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:ags:iwmibo:265664 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Paul Shaffer, 2015. "Two Concepts of Causation: Implications for Poverty," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 46(1), pages 148-166, January.
    4. Schindler, Jana & Graef, Frieder & König, Hannes Jochen, 2016. "Participatory impact assessment: Bridging the gap between scientists' theory and farmers' practice," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 38-43.
    5. Schleicher, Michael & Souares, Aurélia & Pacere, Athanase Narangoro & Sauerborn, Rainer & Klonner, Stefan, 2016. "Decentralized versus Statistical Targeting of Anti-Poverty Programs: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Working Papers 0623, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    6. Larru, Jose Maria, 2007. "La evaluación de impacto: qué es, cómo se mide y qué está aportando en la cooperación al desarrollo
      [Impact Assessment and Evaluation: What it is it, how can it be measured and what it is adding to
      ," MPRA Paper 6928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Nicola Jones & Andy Sumner, 2009. "Does Mixed Methods Research Matter to Understanding Childhood Well-Being?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 90(1), pages 33-50, January.
    8. Kraaijvanger, Richard & Veldkamp, Tom & Almekinders, Conny, 2016. "Considering change: Evaluating four years of participatory experimentation with farmers in Tigray (Ethiopia) highlighting both functional and human–social aspects," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 38-50.
    9. Ramani, Shyama V. & Thutupalli, Ajay & Medovarski, Tamas & Chattopadhyay, Sutapa & Ravichandran, Veena, 2013. "Women entrepreneurs in the informal economy: Is formalization the only solution for business sustainability?," MERIT Working Papers 018, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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