On the Use of Narratives for Assessing Development Policy

Susan Hodgett, Severine Deneulin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The paper discusses the extent to which narratives enrich human development policy assessmentbeyond statistical data. Our arguments are divided in three parts. First, after introducing the capabilityapproach, we examine the theoretical rationale for assessing policy beyond statistics and therelevance of narratives in policy assessment. Second, we review one major exception in policyassessment, the European Union (EU) Community Infrastructure measure. The paper theorizesinterpretive approaches and the use of narratives in policy assessment. It suggests that in order forthe capability approach to make a signifi cant contribution to policy research we should explore theabsolute presuppositions underpinning policy-making, and recognize that there is no intelligibledistinction between quantitative and qualitative research: both acquire meaning in terms of thesocial plot in which they are mobilized. Consequently, we argue that future understanding ofhuman wellbeing must be conceptualized within a meta-theoretic framework.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-79
    JournalPublic Administration
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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