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Patriarchal, imperialist, and colonial forces have long attempted to delegitimise global South epistemologies and elevate Western modes of thinking, knowing, and therefore being. In particular, within development discourse, the principles and practice of mainstream Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (popularly known as MEL) continue to legitimise these forms of knowledge construction, production, and dissemination. Traditional MEL is based on the assumption that grantees must provide ‘accountability’ to donors and ‘evidence’ to establish value for money based on predefined indicators and logframes. This approach to MEL has worked to erase the voices of girls, women, indigenous people, LGBTQI+, and others from the history of social change and to disconnect activists, collectives, and movements from a deep well of knowledge and learning. A collective reimagining of MEL is needed. Although there have been a number of alternative approaches and frameworks proposed, these remain on the periphery with most funders continuing to require grantees to fulfil multiple regimental reporting requirements to justify being funded. In this article, through a collective conversation, we document our shared learning. We showcase three diverse cases in which we as feminist practitioners and the movements we support are attempting to disrupt oppressive MEL structures, tools, and language, and funder practices as profound acts of resistance.

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