The Politics of Development Metrics and Measurement: Impact Evaluations in Fairtrade-certified Plantation Agriculture

Angus Lyall, Elizabeth Havice

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

8 Citas (Scopus)

Resumen

This article presents an analysis of impact evaluations in the case of Fairtrade International in order to track the political effects of metrics and measurement procedures in development practice today. Metrics or ‘indicators’ have long been understood to have the effect of transforming the political visions of socioeconomic change that shape development interventions into seemingly non-contentious, technical models. The common practice among development organizations of using such metrics as evidence of apolitical, technical development outcomes has wide-ranging implications for the field of development and for development subjects. The article explores two specific implications by detailing impact evaluations on three Fairtrade-certified cut-flower plantations, which Fairtrade International contracted to inform a 2014 revision of its certification standards. The authors find, first, that debates over competing visions or definitions of development became concealed in technical debates over adequate metrics and measurements; and, second, that such debates over metrics and measurement consolidated the roles of experts and expert knowledge as mediators of what development can or should be. These findings enhance prior critiques of the supposed neutrality of development metrics by illustrating empirically how the processes of defining metrics and measurement conceal and circumscribe political debates over the meaning and making of development practice.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1531-1553
Número de páginas23
PublicaciónDevelopment and Change
Volumen50
N.º6
DOI
EstadoPublicada - 1 nov. 2019
Publicado de forma externa

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