Title: Participatory monitoring and evaluation in development projects of Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Lutfur Rahman

Addresses: The World Bank, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Abstract: This paper seeks to understand issues and challenges around the application of participatory development methods and practices in the developing world through the case study of participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) in Bangladesh, while offering suggestions to overcome those challenges. Participatory development as a distinctive development paradigm holds strong potential for empowering communities at the grassroots level and promoting local ownership, which promise more sustainable development impact. However, there is growing evidence that many participatory development initiatives have failed in developing countries, largely due to the neglect of contextual specificities relating to culture, inequalities and gender discriminations. Drawing on in-depth interviews with M&E specialists in both Bangladeshi government and international development organisations, I argue that the blanket and insensitive application of PM&E has significantly reduced its effectiveness in Bangladesh where unequal power relations as well as inequalities and discrimination against women are deeply entrenched. The research has significant implications for both development scholarship and project management practice. It contributes to and enriches debates about participatory development and PM&E in the global context.

Keywords: participatory development; project management; development projects; participatory monitoring and evaluation; PM&E; Bangladesh.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPOM.2019.100577

International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2019 Vol.11 No.2, pp.93 - 109

Available online: 24 Jun 2019 *

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