Equity Implications in Evaluating Development Aid: The Italian Case

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Marina Forestieri


Background: In the field of development aid, social equity is an emerging issue that concerns the evaluation community in its theoretical and practical dimensions.

Purpose: A widely held belief is that evaluators do not apply theory. In this paper, we intend to verify this statement about equity in the field of cooperation projects.

Setting: Not applicable.

Intervention: Not applicable.

Research Design: We considered equity-focused approaches and found three common factors: stakeholder participation, attention to context, and focus on marginalized groups. These elements operate as screening criteria in identifying equity issues in a case study.

Data Collection and Analysis: The paper examines a practical experience of Italian cooperation. This involved a review of evaluations reports completed between 2013 and 2014. The reports are analyzed according to the three screening criteria.

Findings: The use of the three criteria has proved its worth in grasping the issues of equity neglected and often not recognized in reports. Once again a gap emerges between theory and practice. The availability of theoretical approaches is not sufficient. The paper, therefore, proposes a reflection on the responsibility of evaluation towards social justice.

Keywords: social equity; development aid; theory and practice gap.


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How to Cite
Forestieri, M. (2020). Equity Implications in Evaluating Development Aid: The Italian Case. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 16(34), 65–90. Retrieved from https://journals.sfu.ca/jmde/index.php/jmde_1/article/view/537