|GATE - 3/91 - Impact - A Neglected Dimension of AT (GTZ GATE, 1991, 52 p.)|
At first glance, our Focus topic in this issue - monitoring the impact of AT projects - may seem pretty arid. It sounds boringly theoretical, with little in the way of hard facts
It is true that there is still a lot of theory involved. But this is understandable, because the subject is in its infancy and so much of the work is still fairly experimental. But this is by no means negative. On the contrary, it shows very clearly that, slowly but surely, something has changed - and is continuing to change - in the awareness of those who do the monitoring. What is needed is not attainment of project goals at any price, but cautious adaptation of projects to reality. Often, the reality of a situation only gradually becomes clear.
The participatory approach mentioned so often in the Focus articles demands a great deal of mutual understanding and a willingness to cooperate on both sides. For the people concerned that's sometimes quite a tall order. This is illustrated by one of our articles, in which an expert describes her work in a team that did its evaluation sing this approach.
As all the authors of the Focus section agree, quite a lot of experience has meanwhile been gathered in participatory monitoring. Unfortunately it is not documented anywhere and so there is no way of accessing it However, insiders reckon that major progress will be made in this field in the next few years. A new GATE project, also described in the Focus section, is intended to contribute to this progress.