Promoting Democracy from Without - Learning from Within (Part I)
Over a decade after its introduction, evaluation of 'democracy assistance' has become crucial, yet faced with considerable methodological difficulties. Such challenges are addressed from two separate angles in this two-part article. Part I examines how international development agencies have tackled the methodological problems, focusing on a recent spate of evaluation studies. It is concluded that the application of conventional evaluation methodology in this field, notably the logical framework approach, suffers from a number of deficiencies and limitations, while attempts at country impact evaluation have not adequately addressed the inherent difficulties. Additionally, it is felt that conventional evaluation reproduces a negative feature of democracy assistance itself - it is externally led and controlled, with limited input from local actors. To address such shortcomings, Part II (in a following issue) offers an alternative methodology based on a participatory approach in which domestic actors play a determining role.