This thesis is a study of how NCA and Norfund prepare and present results. It also explores how numbers as political technologies influence the context in which the organizations are a part of, and how it affects their understanding and presentation of results. The aim is to investigate the responses NCA and Norfund have to the increasing demands for measureable results.
Using Erving Goffman’s concepts of back- and front stage, I explore the preparations and demonstrations the organizations use to portray their competence. Kristin Asdal’s study of political technologies is deployed to widen the scope, investigating how the organizations interact with numbers in the form of statistics.
The focus of this study is not to examine the outcomes themselves, but how NCA and Norfund have chosen to collect, interpret, translate, and disseminate results. As we shall see, the demands for measurability in NCA and Norfund are driven forward by the state, but also by the organizations themselves. The call for more aggregated numbers and statistics are experienced as both challenging and necessary by the organizations, as reporting on results promotes learning, but also demands for the renewing of routines and more resources. Also, the organizations find the translating of social processes to fit a technical framework difficult. Nevertheless, the popularity of measurable results continues to grow.
Key words: backstage, front stage, political technologies, development cooperation, measurability, Norwegian Church Aid, Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, STS