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Case 9

Title: A new methodology for evaluating development interventions ‘Participatory Assessment of Development’ (

Participatory Assessment of Development is a methodology for impact assessment of development interventions that is being developed in Ghana and Burkina Faso. The community, not any specific intervention, is the focus, assessing whatever changed in the livelihood domains, interventions that have taken place from any type of actor, the valuation of their impacts also for locally defined wealth groups, and the relation between the changes and the interventions.

It aims to overcome several methodological shortcomings of evaluation approaches, e.g. focusing on too short a period, too narrowly focused on input and output, evaluations in isolation of wider developments in the region, and ignoring beneficiary opinions. Instead of looking at the interventions of only one external actor, PADEV first looks at changes in a region over the past twenty to thirty years, and then assesses which interventions contributed to which changes. This yields extremely valuable information for NGOs in the area: they learn about their own impact vis-à-vis other actors, and in addition, they find out which types of projects have been most effective in that particular geographic and cultural setting. This can be an important lesson for future interventions. Workshops are run with focus groups in nine research areas: three in which there is a long-term and ongoing presence of Dutch-sponsored NGOs; three areas in which there has been such NGO involvement in the past; and three areas with very few external interventions. PADEV is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the University for Development Studies (Ghana), Expertise pour le Développement du Sahel (Burkina Faso) and three Dutch development NGOs: ICCO, Woord en Daad and Prisma.

Case owner/ presenter(s): Fred Zaal/ Wouter Rijneveld
Country of case study: Burkina Faso / Ghana
Methodological focus: Participatory Assessment of Development

Documentation: PADEV case



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