Revisiting monitoring and evaluation strategies for applied drama and theatre practice in African contexts
RIDE-THE JOURNAL OF APPLIED THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE
University of Witwatersrand
Most of the applied drama and theatre projects being carried out in African contexts tend to be one-off events with limited follow-up in terms of building the capacity of target communities and organising them for action. Besides bringing people together for workshops, performances and post-performance discussions, such projects simply pass by with little or no impact. The few that have been given attention remain trapped within a modernising paradigm that seeks to create external blueprints for monitoring and evaluation (M & E). This article focuses on the current drive among international donor agencies, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in adopting more participatory strategies in M & E practice. The article argues for the adoption of a Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) framework where stakeholders at different levels share control over the form and content of the monitoring and evaluation process. While conventional M & E strategies mainly involve outside experts coming in to measure the impact of projects against prescribed social science-based indicators, PM&E seeks to engage all the stakeholders in planning, designing, implementing and assessing the outcome of projects.