How to back up good intent with credible evidence of impact? The session reflects on recent use of the QuIP (see www.bathsdr.org) by INGOs and investors to foster more inclusive reality checks on their social impact in Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Mexico, Tanzania, Uganda, UK and Zambia.
At the 2015 DSA Conference we reflected on design and testing of the Qualitative Impact Protocol (QuIP) to generate credible, timely and cost-effective evidence of rural development agencies' social impact in the context of complex rural transformations in Ethiopia and Malawi. Three years on we now reflect on subsequent QuIP studies commissioned by a diverse range of organisations to assess activities in Ethiopia, India, Malawi, Mexico, Tanzania, Uganda, UK and Zambia (see www.bathsdr.org). The aims of these projects included - among other things - improving disaster response, urban housing, health worker training, nutrition awareness, community mobilisation, rural livelihood resilience and value chain inclusivity. We will reflect particularly on the scope for the QuIP studies to contribute to more equitable and inclusive development practice, taking into account the emphasis on enabling intended beneficiaries to 'give voice' to their experiences, but also how this 'invited space' is hierarchically structured. We will consider whose 'credibility threshold' counts, and how far 'speaking truth to power' can contribute to 'transforming power structures'. The session will draw on a forthcoming book on use of the QuIP (published by Practical Action) and on reflections by producers and commissioners of QuIP studies, including those completed for Habitat for Humanity, Gorta Self Help Africa, Save the Children and Tearfund.