4. Measurement and Evaluation

How we are measured shapes how we behave.

From asking our primary teachers if our lessons were going to be on the test to structuring our annual work plan according to our organization’s evaluation criteria, we shape our behavior based on how we anticipate being evaluated for our efforts. This is no less true in the organizations and institutions working to realize complex social changes in contexts of ongoing violence and insecurity. This project asks: if this is the case, then why is program measurement and evaluation designed at the end, and often conducted as an administrative afterthought? Instead, Trust after Betrayal posits the potential value of beginning program and policy design with measurement as a driver of behavior. To do this, it analyzes the way in which individuals and organizations engage with, mobilize, and deploy the evaluation practices meant to assess them towards more or less benevolent or malevolent ends.

A reconciliation NGO worker, whose son had been killed by the FARC-EP, regularly uses her required role of tracking attendance to exclude these former combatants from center activities, citing capacity limitations when none exist.

A teen pregnancy prevention organization reframes its mission in terms of peacebuilding in a context in which donor funding overwhelmingly supports the latter with no change to the day-to-day activities of the organization.

Public institutions and international cooperation agencies send subordinates to meetings so that the organization appears on the attendance list as required, but slow collaborative progress and hamper decision-making in the process.