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Date: 2019-01-24 Page is: DBtxt001.php L0700-TPB-c2003-Community-Development


TPB thinking circa 2003
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

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COMMUNITY CENTRIC SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CCSD)
TPB comment: I carried out hundreds, if not thousands of assignments for the World Bank, the United Nations and others for the best part of 30 years starting in 1978. While many of the projects being funded by the international development community were well intentioned, rather few had much sustained impact. One of the main reasons was that almost all the projects were focused on a single sector and often spread over a wide area within a country. In many, in fact in most cases, the project performance was constrained by issues in sectors outside the focus of the project about which, the project could do very little. This single sector issue was aggravated within the development organizations themselves ... for example, the UN's specialized agencies are all organized as single sector organizations ... and by the various national governments around the world which are also organized largely around sector specialization (agriculture. health, housing, transport, etc.). As a result of this experience I became an advocate for community centric multi sector development initiatives. Where this structure for project design was adopted the results were impressive, but, even today, rather few development projects are designed in this manner. On the other hand, cities themselves are starting to drive progress by leading in a wide variety of interesting ways, ways that suit their own locality.
TPB comment: These slides were developed around 2003 to show how progress should be evaluated. Most development experts were approaching monitoring and evaluation by comparing the activities undertaken by the project with the activities described in the project planning and financing documentation. A project was considered successful if the projects had carried out the activities as planned. In my view, this missed the point of development investment. In my view the purpose of development is to achieve progress, and for this progress to be sustained beyond the lifetime of the project. This is basic to good financial management and this is what these slides attempt to show. The purpose of any economic activity is to achieve some improvement ... and this is documented in accountancy using a balance sheet. Very few of the experts in development understand this concept ... and it explains something of why development has a lot of funding, a lot of activity and rather little sustained progress.
TPB note: During the 1980s and the 1990s as an independent consultant I carried out hundreds of evaluations of World Bank and UN projects. Eventually it became clear that my approach to evaluation was very different from the methodology of most of the other 'experts' in 'monitoring and evaluation'. Most of the experts were looking at the activities of the project, and comparing the activities accomplished with the activities planned. If the activities were done in accordance with the project plan, then this was considered a success. In contrast, my approach was to look at the impact of the project activities and assess whether or not the project activities had delivered progress for the beneficiary community. Frequently, there was no positive impact. Frequently the reason for the lack of progress was nothing to do with project failure, but because other issues external to the project were making it impossible for the project to be successful. This was the origin of my thinking about community centric (multi-sector) sustainable development.
The following slides build on the concept of progress being an improvement in STATE as described here ...
Measure Change in State and you Measure Progress
Beginning of Period STATE -- ACTIVITIES / FLOW -- End of Period STATE

CHANGE in STATE shows very clearly whether there is PROGRESS or not over time.
Using this approach to measuring progress reduces the amount of data collection significantly. There is no need to collect data about the ACTIVITIES, just the data about the STATE.







The text being discussed is available at


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