Mainstreaming revisited

Bottom Up Thinking blogs about a “development effectiveness officer“, a person who walks around to incite people to do what they should do if they would be doing their job.
It is a recurrent problem with all “mainstreaming” issues. It is “a job well done” to taken environment, women , equity, drr, into account every time when it is relevant. NOT doing so is bad work. Taking it into account when it is NOT relevant is lack of focus and bad work. If there would be some weeding out of bad programs based on the results they get, people would learn fast to integrate everything that is needed to have a successful outcome .

When mainstreaming an issue, the focus moves from the success for the main goal of the project, to success in mainstreaming. The selection of successful interventions is not made based on the expected results for the objectives, but on “making the right noises”. A mainstreaming agenda is developed, with mainstreaming experts. This has a tendency to lead to “best practices” based on confirmation bias, and one size fits all projects.

However, mainstreaming issues are often serious problems needing attention. Just stopping the current approach will not make them go away. I don’t really have an answer to how to approach it, but like Bottom Up Thinking, I don’t feel comfortable by the steamroller political correctness the current approach seems to imply.

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