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Evaluating International Democracy Promotion: Qualitative Research Methods for Policy Impact in the Southern Balkans
Ohrid Summer University, Macedonia
June 19 - July 2, 2005


The workshop is being funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and brings together participants from across the region - including Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia - and from the U.S. and Western Europe, for two weeks of intensive work. The participants represent a mix of advanced graduate students and professionals in the civil society sector. The main collaborators are the Euro-Balkan Institute in Skopje and the Jefferson Institute in Belgrade, with faculty from Ithaca College, Leeds University, the University of Sheffield, Aarhus University, and the University of Mannheim will contribute, as well as professionals from a range of other institutions, including the Washington D.C.-based Center for Global Development, and the Balkan Trust for Democracy.

The workshop responds to pressing questions now facing scholars, practitioners, and donors concerned with the state of democracy in the region. In a period of prosperity during the past 15 years, Western Europe and North America devoted substantial resources to the promotion of market democracy in the Balkans. The scale of the intervention and the density and duration of interaction far exceeded that in other "nation-building" projects. Shifts in international attention (to the Middle East) and in economic performance will certainly lead to reduced levels of support over the next decade, and funders concerned with cost-effectiveness are looking to the lessons of the past to guide future investment. Opinion is still sharply divided, often on strongly ideological grounds, on the effects of past spending.

The workshop sets out to integrate academic and practical approaches to the challenges of monitoring and evaluating international efforts to promote democracy. In particular, the school aims to contribute to the ongoing assessment needs of these initiatives, and to develop proposals for evaluating the long-term impact of international projects now in their final stages.


Drawing on expertise from development studies, anthropology, sociology, political science and philosophy, as well as methods of policy analysis, the workshop will pursue the following goals:

° To reflect on how different trajectories of globalization, including especially projects of "democracy promotion," impact democratic development and practice in Southeastern Europe.

° To examine the potential impact of empirical, qualitative field research on the delivery of democracy assistance, especially through monitoring and evaluation.

° To lay out the principles and methods of qualitative research design and implementation.

° To explore the possible impacts on local democracy, empowerment, and civic participation of forms of beneficiary assessment and participatory evaluation, drawing on existing literature.

° To design and initiate specific proposals for new forms of monitoring and evaluation, to facilitate learning from experience, and to guide ongoing investment in democracy promotion.

Resource People

Aaron Presnall

Gordon Crawford

Nicole Sirak

Susan Stewart

Ana Devic

Keith Brown

Chip Gagnon

Greg Mihaelidis


To see a copy of the schedule, click here.