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close this bookGATE - 3/91 - Impact - A Neglected Dimension of AT (GTZ GATE, 1991, 52 p.)
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View the documentThe impact of appropriate technology - A neglected dimension
View the documentGATE Project: Participative impact monitoring
View the documentPlanning, observing, steering - Participative impact monitoring
View the documentParticipative planning and evaluation - Expensive in the short term, cost effective in the long term
View the documentThe forgotten overall goal
View the documentAn effective tool for project development
View the documentCreative cooperation demands mutual understanding

GATE Project: Participative impact monitoring

by Eberhard Gohl

This recently launched project aims to design and test participative impact monitoring as a simple tool to be used in steering self-help promotion projects and programmes.

Participative impact monitoring is designed to help

· gear projects to the objectives of the self-help groups

· make the impacts observed by the various actors criterion of project progress

· facilitate the progressive assumption of responsibility by the self help groups.

The idea

The project is based on the idea that monitoring should not focus on the extent to which project reality corresponds with the work plans, but that the emphasis should be on the impacts of our actions. Several things speak in favour of this approach:

· The success of a project cannot be measured in terms of how closely the planning was followed, but in terms of the positive impact on the social environment.

· There can be no universally valid assessment of success since all participants have their own subjective views on the benefit of a project.

· Continuous observation of impacts is a dynamic process.

· Continuous situation analysis demands that a changed situation is reflected in an adaptation of project activities.

In general impacts can be observed at two different levels:

1. The technical level - changes in technology and in the economic situation. Changes at this level are easily quantifiable.

2. The social level - changes at a psychic, mental, cultural and political level. Changes at this level are more easily recorded in terms of quality than quantity.

These two levels obviously cannot be treated as entirely separate entities- there are interactions between them. Material changes do bring with them changes in awareness and behaviour and vice versa.

There are, doubtless, many possible ways of translating participative impact monitoring into practice, especially as regards the questions:

· What type of impact should be recorded?

· How can the actors best perform the impact observation and analysis them selves?

· What part do externals have to play?

· What type of indicators are expedient?

· How can the system be kept simple?

· What are the chances presented by and the risks involved in participative impact monitoring?

Joint testing of participative impact monitoring

In order to answer these questions we must look at where and when similar tests have already been performed. Then an attempt is to be made to further develop the tool in three case studies with partners abroad. It is planned that the following results be achieved in three separate phases.

Appeal to all gate readers

· Please send us any reports you have on experience gained in the field of participative impact monitoring

· Please send us your proposals on developing the concept of participative impact monitoring

· Please let us know if you are planning to launch a (small scale) project at the end of 1991, in the course of which you would be interested in testing, or developing the participative impact monitoring approach.

We would very much appreciate any contributions you can make to this project. Please send your ideas, proposals, reports etc. to

attn. Mr Joachim Prey
P.O. Box 5180
D-6236 Eschborn 1
Federal Republic of Germany

Phase I

A concept for participative impact monitoring has been designed, introduced and discussed with partners.

The draft of the first rough concept is currently being prepared. As soon as it is finished it will be sent to all interested parties, and then discussed and refined with our partners from overseas at a workshop to be held in the Federal Republic of Germany in autumn 1991. The planning will be performed on a step-by-step basis, so at present only the activities for the first phase have been laid down. They are to be concluded by the end of 1991.

Phase II

Participative impact monitoring has been tested and improved with interested cooperation partners.

The development of the concept will be taken one step further with three counterpart organizations who are interested in developing participative impact monitoring, and who are planning to launch a relevant project in 1991/92.

Phase III

The experience gained with participative impact monitoring has been processed and documented.

Experience gained with the case studies and other approaches will be documented in the form of guidelines on participative impact monitoring.


In the field of NGOs' work in particular simple project steering instruments are needed, which are geared not only to fulfilling the plan, but which concentrate on analysing the impact of the project on the target group. Participative impact monitoring is design to do just that In order to test this approach over the next two years GATE is looking for partners in developing countries who are interested in talking part in trials.


Dans le domaine d'activites organisations non gouvernementales surtout, les instruments de pilotage du projet doivent e simples, non uniquement axvers la risation des rltats prsionels et permettre avant tout l'analyse des effets sur les groupes cibles. Le suivi participatif des effets se veut de rndre a ces exigences. Afin de tester et de dlopper cette approche dans les ann 3 venir GATE cherche, dans les pays en vole de dloppement, des partenaires desireux de participer de faon active.


Especialmente en los itos de accion de las organizaciones no gubernamentales se requieren instrumentos de conduccie proyectos sencillos, que no estorientados exclusivamente al cumplimiento de objetivos preestablecidos en un plan, sino que analicen en primer tino los efectos sobre los grupos destinatarios. Se espera que la monitoria de efectos segun principios participativos cumpla los anteriores requisitos. GATE busca organizaciones en los paises en desarrollo que estinteresadas en participar activamente en este trabajo.