Gender Issues and Social Change: Evaluating Programme Impact in Rural Bangladesh

van Swinderen, Anne Marie (1996). Gender Issues and Social Change: Evaluating Programme Impact in Rural Bangladesh. MPhil thesis The Open University.

Abstract

In rural Bangladesh many Non-Governmental Organisations run development programmes through which they aim to alleviate poverty. Host of these organisations have set themselves economic, social, gender and other objectives. Despite the fact that these organisations in principle do not prioritize economic,objectives over the other objectives, it has been noted that economic aspects are more emphasized in evaluations than social ones.

In this study a range of social development dimensions have been explored. A variety of indicators were developed to investigate how these development dimensions could be evaluated at the village level and in particular how programme impact could be evaluated. Many of the indicators were derived from people's opinions about certain social issues, most of which concern women's lives. Social data are often of a qualitative nature, which makes evaluation difficult, especially when two sets of data are to be compared. In this study the qualitative data obtained for several indicators were transformed into quantitative data.

The research showed that many of the indicators chosen, and the way in which they were used, indeed have potential for social and gender evaluation. Ways in which they might be modified and further developed as an evaluative tool are suggested.

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