Operationalizing Capability Approach (CA) for Evaluating Small Projects

Chandra Khanal, Ram (2010). "Operationalizing Capability Approach (CA) for Evaluating Small Projects" Paper presented at the 7th annual conference of the HDCA, 21-23 September 2010, Amman, Jordan.

This study aimed to devise Capability Approach (CA) based evaluation tools for development project management at local level. Two small development initiatives at local level were selected and examined in a rural community in Nepal by employing participatory appraisal methods such as focus group discussion, key informant survey, participatory ranking, and transect walk. Based on the review, an evaluation framework, comprises of six major evaluation aspects, was proposed to assess functioning, capability, freedoms and agency. Similarly, in order to incorporate normative aspect in evaluation, axiological and existential aspects, in tandem, were also reviewed, analysed and attempted to assess based on the contribution made by the selected development initiatives on people’s life and livelihoods. Some conceptual and operational challenges were encountered during the study. CA is still new area of application at project level so its operationalisation was constrained by inadequate conceptual clarity, and amorphous tools and techniques that can be used at project contexts. Application of axiological and existential stands added further complexity in analysis and ranking. Although, the study revealed the possibility of devising capability based evaluation systems for small projects, further analysis and probing is a must.
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