Following on from the last post, let's look at:
We will also consider some of the implications in applying the RBM approach successfully
"RBM is not a tool - it is a mindset, a way of working that looks beyond processes and activities, to focus on the actual social and economic benefits of projects for beneficiaries." - UN Habitat
Click through for the videos.
What is RBM all about?
Where did it come from?
What do we even mean when we say 'a result'?
Let me share a few short videos with you from our online Results-Based Management, Monitoring & Evaluation training so we know what we are talking about here.
Click through for the videos.
In a valley between two hill villages there's a place where the river widens and becomes still. A banyan tree provides shade and a focus for the women who come and go - girls collecting water, women doing laundry. Sujata, a community health worker, will often drop by when visiting a nearby project to sit and listen to the news and stories.
Beneath the tree it’s always busy. The women share stories, give each other advice. A small informal market has popped up, and women buy or trade produce with each other. Marriages have even been arranged here.
"What these people need are toilets", said the hygiene expert in his report.
His visit to the village had been brief but productive. Everything inspected, every box ticked. He'd looked at food preparation and water supply. He'd examined Health Post reports, and even had the data in colourful pie charts to show head office.
"Once we build those latrines", he thought to himself, "their health status will improve."
Back in the days of our office in Nepal, we had a great guy working with us - Chudamani. There's so much I can say about him - how he created his own place in ELD and over a couple of years went from mail boy to negotiating with UNDP and helping guide ELD strategically.
In my last blog post I was reminded of a story he once told me - and it tells us a lot about how development practice can often be short-sighted.
This makes me mad.
I was reading a blog post a couple of weeks ago, and I came across possibly the worst advice to NGOs I've ever seen. And I hate to be critical of others - and that's why I'm not naming here - but what really disturbs me is when lazy development practice is presented as fact.
Now, if that it been a comment in a Facebook group it would have been understandable. Many Communities of Practice in Facebook are full of people still learning. And it's great they try to help each other, even if it is sometimes the blind leading the blind.
Sometimes I can't believe how useless so many development reports are.
Monitoring reports are NOT just about numbers. They're not about ticking boxes.
We did this. We did that.
I love metaphors, and here's one.
Reporting is a house of cards.
At the top we have our evaluation. This is where we reflect on EVERYTHING. The project's over, and it's time to hand over to the community, pack up and go home and say 'job done'.
But how do we know that we succeeded?
And how do we even define success?
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time” - according to the American Poet John Lydgate.
He Obviously Never Did Stakeholder Management.
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