|Participatory Impact Monitoring - PIM Booklet 4: The Concept of Participatory Impact Monitoring (GTZ, 1996, 36 p.)|
"What's the point of development projects?"
We know very little about the impact of development projects, and even less about the social and cultural effects than about the frequently modest technical and economic successes.
Yet, critical inquiries regarding this aspect are arising more and more often. The funding agencies have to increasingly demonstrate successes to their financial backers, who are more often than not small donors or tax payers/voters. This pressure to be successful is passed on to the development organizations (NGO) in the South, which means that their staff have to increasingly prove the impact of their work. And the self-help groups or grassroots organizations for their part? albeit for the time being only those with greater awareness, start asking whether the NGO really needs so much money for their promotion or whether it would not make more sense for the funding agencies to support the self-help groups directly.
The funding agencies are adjusting to the new requirements. More and more often, impact analyses are drawn up and published. Yet, the limits of such analyses quickly become evident:
- The studies are conducted ex-post and barely affect the future of the project reviewed.
- The impact analyses are prepared by external persons and only include the standpoints of the relevant NGO and self-help groups to a limited extent.
- The studies are commissioned by a funding agency; therefore, at the most, they influence only future decisions at this level. They do not trigger any learning processes in the NGO or self-help groups who are actually responsible for implementing the project.
- The information that is published serves as justification and is not intended to promote learning. One is afraid of the public criticism that may arise if problems and errors become known.
The point is to find new solutions. To this end, a new concept called Participatory Impact Monitoring (PIM) was developed.