Author: Irene Guijt
Full Citation: Guijt, I. (2007). Assessing and Learning for Social Change: A Discussion Paper. Brighton, UK: Institute Development Studies.
Overview: This paper represents the analysis and experiences of a small group of experienced development professionals through a series of workshops, case studies and webinars (Assessing Social Change Group) to answer the question, “what processes for assessing and learning about social change can help improve the strategies and results of organizations working to transform inequalities in favor of the poor?” In assessing social change, issues to raise include
- relationships and power dynamics among stakeholders, particularly donor – recipient relationships,
- challenges in scaling up and scaling down especially to ensure citizen’s participation and engagement and
- issues of accountability to donors and to beneficiaries. Social change is defined as the “collective process of conscious efforts to reduce poverty and oppression by changing underlying unequal power relationship…that seek a systemic, structural impact”.
- Some basic questions to consider in the process of articulating social change are “Who should benefit from the change? What power forces impede progress? What is the timeframe and ingredients of that process that are within and outside one’s control? How do the individuals and groups involved think that particular types of change occur? Who owns/drives/initiates/ carriers the process – and what legitimacy does it have?”