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Own goals: evaluation and accountability in millennium development planning

By S. Kushner

Abstract

I will argue that international organizations are caught in the middle of a paradox as they seek to implement international goals in local contexts. It is this: that events and phenomena like schools and educational ideas have what appear to be mutually exclusive properties - that they are both unique to context and comparable with other contexts; they have both a global and a local character. Schools, for example, are both compoarable across countries and cultures and unique to heir host communities. This is a paradox that afflicts UNICEF, as with other international agencies, as it struggles to resolve the tension between its global accountabilities and its roots in a local (in-country, often municipal) action-base with obligations to children, families and communities. \ud \ud One of the implications of this paradox is that we have to think flexibly about what counts as a standard or as a goal, allowing them to be determined locally – to reflect the priorities and preferences of citizens and communities – and globally – to reflect international agreements and advances in internationally-recognised moralities. In respect of evaluation I will show how thinking simultaneously of democracy and rights in evaluation – in fact, as determinants of evaluation design – allows for the mediation of the global and the local, especially in respect of MDGs. Though rights and democracy are frequently thought of by rights theorists as being in tension, program evaluation allows for their unification. I will talk briefly about a right-based approach to

Publisher: Sage
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.uwe.ac.uk:11463

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