Evaluating fair trade as a development project: methodological considerations
This article identifies the need for an appropriate methodology for evaluating Fair Trade, given that most evaluations to date have been in-house or commissioned reviews and hence have not followed a consistent approach. Focusing on the development aspects of Fair Trade, the article reviews a range of impact evaluation methods and presents a detailed methodology for analysing Fair Trade. This methodology incorporates standard project evaluation criteria and is based on a wide range of proven methods for collecting and analysing data, principally qualitative but also quantitative. This framework is a modular package from which practitioners may select according to their needs and means, while still retaining an overarching logic. The article illustrates its use by reference to evaluations undertaken in Costa Rica, Ghana, Nicaragua, and Tanzania. The approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of Fair Trade programmes and enables these to be compared with conventional development projects.
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