Process Tracing the Policy Impact of ‘Indicators’
te Lintelo, Dolf J.H.
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In recent years, a range of new indices, benchmarking and scorecard tools—also known as ‘indicators’—have been developed to influence public policy and to pro- mote accountability. While subjected to important technical and political critiques, the policy impact of ‘indicators’ is often assumed yet rarely demonstrated. Suitable evaluative methods are in their infancy. This article adopts an innovative process tracing analysis to assess the policy impact of the Hunger And Nutrition Commit- ment Index (HANCI) in Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Zambia and globally. We pre- sent a rare and empirically rich application of this systematic qualitative evaluative method. We further contribute to the theorisation of ‘indicators’ by positing a central role for equitable producer–user relations in mediating policy impact, and demon- strate that such relations can overcome significant political critiques on ‘indicators’. Publishers Note: Due to a production process error the original version of this paper was inadvertently published without Open Access. We apologise to the author that this was not applied before first publication. No other changes have been made to the content.