A guide for field projects on adaptive strategies Layer 3 Layer 4 Layer 2
The nature of evaluation
Types of evaluation models
Thinking of evaluation as a process
Context-specific evaluations
Balance between quantitative and qualitative measures-You Are Here-
Participatory Evaluations
Project processes impacting an evaluation framework
A hypothetical evaluation


The need for both qualitative and quantitative measures

Both qualitative and quantitative measures are required for evaluations. Bietz (pers. comm. 1995) states that Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) had a rather ad hoc method which he saw as a strength rather than any sort of weakness. He states that the MCC evaluators, because they are often from the area and trained as social scientists, more often than not go on a sense of "notion" rather than purely quantitative measures. He thought that this would be characteristic of the majority of NGO positions on evaluation. Therefore, MCC does not put a lot of weight on quantification of things. This is possibly a reflection of the MCC program --they work as facilitators within communities for long periods of time instead of intervening on a project by project basis. A number of the evaluations done by MCC, therefore, fulfill a number of Salmen's precepts for practitioners or participant observer evaluations; they place a premium on trust and strive for reliability rather than precision.

Rubin (in Moock and Rhoades 1992) describes evaluation of impacts of technology through linking the participation in development projects with shifts in labor patterns. She states that when looking at change in livelihoods due to crop changes (or changes in the production mode), quantitative measures of crop yields and income are only partial indicators of technology impacts. That is to say, qualitative measures which look at decision making, intra-household allocations of power and resources due to technology change are also necessary. Rubin (Ibid.) employs ethnographic methods to identify the social and economic processes through which cash crop production shifted labor time allotments within and between households.

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