Why Don’t We Ever Learn?

AID LEAP

I spent this New Years Eve in a pub with an old friend. We’d covered the normal topics of conversation – the love-lives of mutual friends, why our nostril hair is sprouting, how everything was better when we were young. Conversation shifted to our work, and I started rambling about my life as an M&E consultant. “It’s all so pointless,” I said. (I’d had several pints at this point.) “I spend my time helping charities to collect high quality monitoring data – and then they just ignore it.”dilbert managing for results

“Why is that?” my friend asked. “That seems completely stupid.”

And I was stumped for an answer. Development charities are full of bright, enthusiastic, often very nice people, doing amazing things with limited resources. Why are they so slow to use monitoring data that could improve the effectiveness of their work? I spluttered a bit, then changed the topic and we spent the…

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