In this article we investigate a group of environmental consultants in their efforts to create a local standard for monitoring and evaluating development projects. The point of these efforts is at once to improve the quality of projects and internal communication. We describe them as experiments in optimization. In particular, our analysis focuses on monitoring and evaluating as a form of optimization that generously constrains the world’s complexity in order to facilitate specific kinds of work. Contrary to a prevalent view that problematizes monitoring and evaluation as inherently reductive activities, we thus engage such practices as non-reductive. This post-critical perspective further enables us to compare the knowledge work of environmental consultants and of anthropologists. While reduction of complexity are important aspects of relevant forms of optimization in both kinds of work, these fields are premised on different registers of valuation, which might be brought into fruitful (post-critical) contact.
|Status||Udgivet - feb. 2014|