Obsessive Measurement Disorder

Adrian Gnägi from the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) has written an interesting blog article on “What is wrong with Managing for Development Results?”, reflecting an essay of Andrew Natsios, former head of USAID.
The article deals with “«Obsessive Measurement Disorder» (OMD), … an intellectual dysfunction rooted in the notion that counting everything in government programs will produce better policy choices and improved management”. We have gone over the top with the well-intended desire to ensure results and to be accountable. But we have set the fox to keep the geese: all the attempts to monitor and evaluate are in themselves becoming one of the biggest impediments for efficiency and effectiveness… Our current M&E practice has in fact become one of the big problems rather than a solution to anything…

Read it on the SDC Blog, it’s worth it!

Already 11 years ago, Meg Wheatley wrote a very similar article on the obsession of measurement, and it’s more topical than ever:
http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/whymeasure.html

There is a second article of her speaking to the same issue, a nice illustration from the educational system in the US:
http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/largescalechange.html

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