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As someone who has worked extensively in building the M&E capacity of grassroots organizations in Africa, the latest trend towards using "gold standard" of randomized control trials is especially troubling when one is talking about community initiatives. Imposing such incredibly risk-averse behavior, evaluating every single intervention on people who are in the process of organizing at the local level is most certainly a drain on their time and scarce resources. What so many people on the ground have told me again and again is that abstract metrics don’t help them understand their relationship to improving the well-being of the people they serve. As members of the community, they read trends through what’s happening on the ground, rather than using any theory. During my time in the development sector as a whole, I've seen an increasing desperation to “know” what is inherently beyond logic and induction. It is certainly time to examine our belief that there are technocratic, precise ways of measuring progress in order to make consequential judgments based on these measures. The increasing obsession with abstract metrics and experimental design, stemming from a reductive, managerial approach in development, is quite far from the intimate, difficult, and complex factors at play at the national and grassroots levels. The business sector seems to have a healthier relationship with risk in their for-profit endeavours, perhaps something we may need to explore in the development sector. Yes, let's pursue and obtain useful data, but at a scale at which information can be easily generated, utilized, and acted upon by those we are trying to serve on the ground. "Those who work selfishly for results are miserable." ~Sri Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, The Song of God