Process-oriented approaches to development practice and social research: David Mosse
Introducing process monitoring and documentation This book deals with some new approaches to information management in development programmes referred to as 'process documentation' or 'process monitoring'. While these approaches are intended to complement rather than replace existing routine monitoring and participatory appraisal methods, the concept of 'process' itself implies a different perspective on development initiatives. This chapter will explore this 'process' perspective as well as showing why it is important particularly in view of recent changes in the nature of development initiatives themselves. This means identifying some limitations presented by conventional information systems in development and the reasons for wishing to identify different methods. In the second part of the chapter, I will set process monitoring and documentation in the context of various other social science involvements in development practice over the past two or three decades. This will set the scene for the examples of process documentation and process monitoring discussed in later chapters of the book. In short the key questions are: what does it mean to view development as a 'process'? Why should we monitor or document this process? What approaches are there to understand this, and how do they differ from existing methods in social science?