Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Who Counts? The Power of Participatory Statistics

Local people can generate their own numbers – and the statistics that result are powerful for themselves and can influence policy. Since the early 1990s there has been a quiet tide of innovation in generating statistics using participatory methods. Development practitioners are supporting and facilitating participatory statistics from community-level planning right up to sector and national-level policy processes. Statistics are being generated in the design, monitoring and evaluation, and impact assessment of development interventions. Through chapters describing policy, programme and project research, Who Counts? provides impetus for a step change in the adoption and main-streaming of participatory statistics within international development practice.

The challenge laid down is to foster institutional change on the back of the methodological breakthroughs and philosophical commitment described in this book. The prize is a win–win outcome in which statistics are a part of an empowering process for local people and part of a real-time information flow for those aid agencies and government departments willing to generate statistics in new ways. Essential reading for researchers and students of international development as well as policy-makers, managers and practitioners in development agencies.

'This is a timely compilation of ground-breaking work which adds up to a powerful agenda for transformation. This book shows how we can quantify the qualitative, build the active agency of excluded groups and generate participatory statistics that have greater rigour and legitimacy than most conventional statistics.’ David Archer, Head of Programmes, ActionAid

Who Counts?
Edited by Jeremy Holland with an Afterword by Robert Chambers
Practical Action Publishing