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Directing Programme Evaluation Towards the Field Worker: An Experiment in Adult Education

  • Design
  • Social Sciences


Although there is now a more widespread attempt to carry out systematic, evaluation studies of development programmes and projects by external agencies, the users of these studies continue to be the elite management group of policy makers and planners and international agencies. The lower levels of the development bureaucracy in the district and in the block seldom have access to evaluation reports, despite having their work studied for purposes of evaluation by social science researchers and consultants. This paper argues for a wider use of evaluation efforts by the involvement of programme implementers and field workers in the process of (1) debating the nature and content of evaluation (2) using the feedback from evaluation for further planning at their levels and (3) initiating follow up action. An experiment of eliciting such involvement through an intensive two day workshop during the evaluation study of the National Adult Education Programme (NAEP) is discussed in the paper. The reaction of the field workers to the evaluation study and an exercise on action planning designed on the basis of the study are described. The paper concludes with the authors’ observations on the experiment and a plea for less mechanistic uses of evaluation of large scale development programmes.

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