Resources for trainers
In this section youŽll find a collection of useful resources for
participatory planning, monitoring and evaluation made available by
other organisations and initiatives.
Management (PCM) and Logical Framework (LOGFRAME)
Evaluation, Monitoring, Transference into action)
ZOPP (and other
instruments developed by GTZ)
MAPA (Method for
Applied Planning and Assessment)
The following text presents an introduction to describe the background
of the collected resources.
The development co-operation field
Over the nineties, the tendency in development co-operation moved from
the technical approach to increasingly participatory approaches. These
are seen to be "systemic" or "process-oriented", from having
previously been "goal-oriented" and "result-oriented". It is not that
the goals do not matter any more: only that the way leading to them is
seen as being even more important, and the goals are no more
immovable, but questioned and restated along the way, as the project
assists a better understanding of the reality. Results are crucial in
validating the process - but have minimal value if the process is seen
as one having created imbalance, rather than ensure sustainability.
A first step to enrich the purely-technical approach, performed
already in the eighties, was the inclusion of participation in
planning - and later, to some extent, also in evaluation.
Participation aimed initially to include the local perspectives -
especially of the target group - and to increase the chances of
sustainability of projects by aiming to create local ownership through
joint planning. Participation modelled the principles of political
theory and attempted to both bridge the gap between the development
agencies and the local partners, and also to harness the local
knowledge to sustain development.
Participation was constantly enriched due to feed-back from
practitioners, but also due to new developments in social and
management science, acknowledging the importance of personal attitude
and of trust for the sustainability of projects, and also the
acceptance of new forms of evaluation, moving away from the strictly
positivist position, towards inclusion of constructivist elements, and
firmly towards more qualitative rather than quantitative indicators.
Participation thus became more genuine, and evaluation aimed at
representing less the control on the implementer, and more the
accountability of the implementer. Issues such as "accountability
towards the target group", "accountability towards members" were added
to the traditional "upwards" accountability towards the donor.
The concept of learning organisation and the advances in action
research also changed the focus of evaluation towards its formative
role. Self-evaluation and internal monitoring became main steering
tools for the management of projects.
The complexity of intertwined issues to be tackled by development
projects call for new approaches, where more complex forms of planning
and implementation are needed in order to achieve sustainability. The
network - and the partnerships - are becoming the organisational forms
considered as best-adapted to effective development co-operation.
Learning becomes central to the management of projects:
self-evaluation developed from being a steering mechanism for project
management, to include the explicit function of informing
organisational and individual learning from the project.
Planning methods - usually having as starting point the identification
of the problems to be solved - developed alternative approaches,
taking a shared vision as a starting point, and mobilising individual
action towards turning the vision into reality. The resources of the
project now focus more on the local potential, than on the external
input. Local knowledge and assets have become important resources for
the implementation of projects.
Flexibility becomes a dominant variable for dealing with changes of
the project environment that are difficult to manage through planned
assumptions: this makes rational planning impossible unless the models
of reality used in planning are changed. All these changes in the
development approach are aimed towards ensuring the sustainability of
projects - and more, sustainability with complex variables, where
long-term and a "larger picture" of the environment, even global
considerations, are taken into account.
The approach to scaling-up of projects also changed. The policy
dimension grew in importance during the nineties: local policies are
advocated to allow for the dissemination of innovation of projects,
rather than attempting to replicate models. The projects themselves
became more comprehensive in their approach, with whole communities as
main target group and partner, rather than specific groups.
The focus on communities also led to the emergence of new planning
approaches, involving large-scale direct participation, in order to
better mobilise the local assets: the so-called large-group
interventions. The strong movement of lifelong-learning and the
concept of learning organisations brought back into the limelight
Some of the methods and frameworks for development co-operation
explicitly include tools for participatory learning so that more of
the intellectual resources of all involved contribute to solving
problems that are accepted to being complex, and thus needing complex
- and if possible holistic - approaches. Seen from the holistic
perspective, the clear, rational, technical approach seems to suffer
from tunnel vision, unless applied in determined, well-delimited and
The collection of resources reflects these changes, and will refer to
the different steps in approaches to development co-operation.
Participation is embedded in practically all researched methods, and
the materials are aimed to assist a subtle understanding of
participatory processes, so as to best inform the development of
approaches specific to the region (south-eastern Europe) by partners
in the I.M.PACT project.
The education sector
In the school systems, the search for quality in education led to the
school improvement approach, which involves whole schools and their
communities in the development of a harmonious learning environment
for the pupils, and in the support of quality for all. School
improvement calls for teacher participation in the management of the
school, and for community participation in supporting the school, and
in ensuring equal access.
Self evaluation becomes an important management approach for schools
engaged in school improvement. Evaluation as, for, and of school
improvement started to change the approach to the very evaluation of
schools in the wider context of the educational system, rather than
within their own community. Issues such as the democratic environment
of schools, the safety in school, emerged as being as relevant as the
results of knowledge-assessment of students. Specific evaluation
methodologies such as the empowerment evaluation worked remarkably
well in schools.
The school improvement approach matched the decentralisation of
education sytems, aiming to support democratic approaches to the
management of education, and to assist schools become integrated in
their communities, and thus offer a better-adapted educational
service. The remaining central functions of curriculum development,
quality insurance, and access, attempt to weld functions of support,
democratic regulation and internal harmonisation, rather than of
The inspiration drawn from democratic practices led to changes in
teaching methods, towards pupil-centred approaches. Student
participation - where the meaning of participation moved from that of
"attendance" to "influencing the decision-making process" - became a
challenging dimension tackled by many democratic countries. Lessons
from political science further supported the refinement of education
policy-making, where policy evaluation is becoming a tool in driving
Lifelong learning is promoted as a means for both individual
empowerment and individual responsibility. Adult education regains
importance and lifelong-learning strategies attempt to now develop
skills and attitudes for lifelong learning already during school
years. The event of globalisation entails complex approaches to
reforming education, where the local and global dimensions need to be
harmonised, and where education faces the challenging task of
developing skills that allow both competitive survival in a globalised
world, and provision of locally-needed skills. Evaluation is
challenged in attempting to define goals for global education, and to
inform national policy-making in an intensively-globalised context.
The focus of learning also moved to encompass groups, organisations
and communities, in an attempt to overcome the atomisation entailed by
globalisation, through urbanisation, displacement of populations,
changes in traditional ways of life. Concepts like learning
organisations, participatory learning, have gained more and more
terrain and support in the field of adult learning as well as in the
implementation of development strategies.
Organisation of the collection
This is in no way a comprehensive collection, and is adapted to the
needs of the I.M.PACT project. The collection is focussed on
participatory evaluation (and the related components of planning and
monitoring). It is also aimed mostly at education projects and
programmes. For this reason, it will also contain some background
information from the education sector.