One of my new favorite development blogs, Aid Thoughts, had an interesting post recently about what should succeed the Millenium Development Goals once they reach their deadline in 2015. I was excited to see Matt, the blogger, focus on how to approach the exercise of goal-setting for development (rather than simply focusing on the content of the goals themselves), and I found myself nodding in agreement to his emphasis on a bottom-up approach that provides room for challenges to be addressed at the local level.
After reading the post, the IPAer in me immediately considered the issue of evaluation and how it would fit in with Matt's suggestions. After all, the process of evaluation is often most effectively employed when looking at specific projects on the local level. How could a role for evaluation be stitched into a framework for what development programs and policies should be achieving? Of course, national-level measures of progress (e.g. life expectancy) would still be useful. However, in Matt's bottom-up approach to the MDGs 2.0, program evaluation on the local level would be critical in understanding how people's lives are tangibly improving due to various development efforts. Thoughts?