The Learning Partner: dialogic approaches to monitoring and evaluation in international social development


  • Ross VeLure Roholt University of Minnesota
  • Alexander Fink Augsburg University
  • Maryam Mohiuddin Ahmed


evaluation, monitoring, development, decoloniality, learning


This article describes an evaluation approach in international development that challenges the current emphasis on compliance and limited involvement of local stakeholders. Emerging from a five-year study across eight sites in across the globe, the Learning Partner approach begins with two ideas. First, evaluation is a process of learning and adaptation. Second, evaluation flourishes through partnerships. We begin by joining this model to developments in evaluations over the last 50 years, illustrating its connection to evaluation theory as well as its extension beyond current evaluation practice in international development. We share how this approach shapes the evaluation process through collaborative storytelling and describe both the approach and the practice. While not yet a decolonial evaluation approach, we advocate that it gestures towards decoloniality and opens the question: how can we begin to decolonize the evaluation process?


This was a submission to the special issue of the journal.