- Questions and Answers
- An ethnography of evaluation in Afghanistan
- Award date
- 22 February 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Was the Dutch civil-military mission in Uruzgan successful or did it fail? When this mission in the southern Afghan province drew to a close in 2010 after four years of military and developmental presence, this question was asked by Afghan and Dutch policy makers, academics, journalists and aid workers. The Dutch embassy in Kabul tasked an Afghan research organization with evaluating the mission’s effects. The report the evaluators wrote, raised as many questions as it answered. What did the results really mean? Were the research protocols properly followed or were they tampered with? In this thesis, I examine the evaluation of the Dutch mission again, drawing on my work in the evaluation project as one of the evaluators of the mission. The present study is the result of an intricate process of acquainting myself with the methodologies of evaluation research. I examine how the specific evaluation research was done in the Afghan and Dutch context and what it entailed — in practice — to draft questionnaires, do interviews, analyze data, write reports, stipulate conclusions and present recommendations. I investigate how Uruzgan came to be known in the meeting of contexts of war, linguistic and cultural differences, infrastructural disconnection, expectations of and for Uruzgan, and research technologies. Based on this empirical work this thesis challenges the research process as something that is clear and confident. However well drafted, methodological protocols simply cannot address and anticipate all possible practical problems that surface in the real world where they are put to use.
- Title on spine: Q & A.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo until 22 February 2019)
2. 6.15%: Taking numbers at interface value (Embargo until 22 February 2019)
3. Crafting coherence: On writing an evaluation report in Afghanistan (Embargo until 22 February 2019)
4. Meeting with success and failure: Presenting Afghanistan in the Netherlands (Embargo until 22 February 2019)
5. Asking again and again: Moving between questions in development research in Afghanistan (Embargo until 22 February 2019)
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