The ethical implications of fly-by evaluations: Lessons from a leader's heartfelt experiences in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Ramya Ramanath, PhD
Rutgers University's Cases and Simulations Portal
This case, presented in three parts, focuses on the program planning, design and evaluation practices of a young, U.S.-based international nongovernmental organization (INGO). Part A highlights the experiences of Anna, the founder-leader of the INGO, who journeys into the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) in response to the persuasive discourse of the country’s legacy of brutal rape and abuse of women. Until that journey, the INGO and Anna were unfamiliar with the country. The process of designing its interventions (Part B) in DR Congo exposes her INGO’s resource limitations. These limitations influence several aspects of an ensuing program evaluation exercise, including planning and design, methods of data collection and analysis, and the ability to learn from mistakes (Part C). More importantly, the limitations have important ethical implications for the future of the INGO’s programs and the lives of the women it purports to serve. The implications and the efforts that can be made to minimize them comprise the key learning objectives of this case.
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