P67
The politics of measurement: how what we measure influences what we do and ignore

Convenors:
Irene Guijt (Oxfam GB)
Martin Walsh (Oxfam GB)
Deborah Hardoon (Oxfam)
Katherine Trebeck (Oxfam GB)
Location:
Room 14 (Examination Schools)
Start time:
12 September, 2016 at 14:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The panel will debate that what is used to measure critical aspects of development - such as wellbeing, effectiveness and inequality, hides or highlights, reveals or makes invisible critical groups of people, issues and values that underpin society.

Long abstract:

The panel members will illustrate that what is used to measure critical aspects of development - such as wellbeing, effectiveness and inequality, is not a neutral, value free technical issue. It hides or highlights, reveals or makes invisible critical groups of people, issues and values that underpin society. We would illustrate the this with our work on the politics of measuring inequality, work on the politics of evidence/results (linked to a bestselling book I co-authored), OGB's work on reviewing programme effectiveness, and new economic paradigms and what values are shaping societal and political choices. The panel would stimulate discussion by the audience around: 1. Other examples of non-neutrality of measurement choices 2. How this has influenced work - what is seen, valued, funded and implemented 3. What issues and groups of people have been marginalised or kept invisible as a result. 4. What development researchers can do to reduce mistakes made through non-consideration of the value-laden nature of measurement.