What do you learn when you ask people about their personal experiences with international assistance efforts and make a genuine effort to listen to their answers? What do they say when you ask which approaches have been most effective and which not? What does that tell us about how things should change? I read “Time to Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid” and found answers to these questions.
For any organization trying to decide how best to achieve development impact, a good place to start is with a ‘Theory of Change’, or ToC. Formally defined as “a statement of the interconnected causal pathways that describe the types of interventions that bring about desired outcomes” , a ToC can be more plainly said to be a description of what you need to do to make a difference.
I was fortunate to recently attend a workshop here in Penang on Gender Transformative Research (GTR) in Agricultural Development, where ToCs were discussed . This was an important discussion because, as I explained in my last post, not all researchers are agreed about whether GTR should be pursued by agricultural research organizations . Without a compelling rationale that forms part of a clear theory of change that situation is likely to persist. Continue reading →