Monitoring and evaluation for thinking and working politically

Thomas Aston, Chris Roche, Marta Schaaf, Sue Cant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the challenges of monitoring and evaluating politically informed and adaptive programmes in the international development field. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of some specific evaluation methodologies which have been suggested as particularly appropriate for these kinds of programmes based on scholarly literature and the practical experience of the authors in using them. We suggest that those methods which assume generative causality are particularly well suited to the task. We also conclude that factoring in the politics of uncertainty and evidence generation and use is particularly important in order to recognize and value diverse experiential knowledge, integrate understandings of the local context, accommodate adaptation and realistically grapple with the power relations which are inherent in evaluation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-57
Number of pages22
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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