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Blogpost: How Do You Measure Democracy Work?
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How do you measure democracy work? There is no balance sheet for political parties that records how healthy they are. We can’t give inoculations against authoritarian ruling schemes. In the absence of measuring sticks, most of us engaged in democracy and governance (D&G) work around the globe have put emphasis on anecdotal reporting and on numbers: numbers of people trained, polling and election results.
But over the past few years there has been increased attention to the need for a more rigorous assessment of the impact of D&G programs.
In 2008, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded study entitled Improving Democracy Assistance recommended that the agency dedicate more resources to measuring impact of D&G programs using randomized studies and case studies. Many others are following in USAID footsteps, as attention is turning to more substantive evaluations of D&G programs.