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An evaluation puzzle: Talent show”

An NGO offers a play activity for Roma children, with the modest aim of Providing safe and supportive spaces”.

Most of the children don’t like the activity and nearly all stay away.

But one of the children is introduced to the clarinet through the activity.

The child goes on to win a national talent show and a record contract.

The child’s fame does a lot for the community — children are more self-confident, the municipal authority is more responsive, neighbouring communities are more friendly …

The NGO argues that the project’s effectiveness and impact were huge. But others say that these successes were essentially accidental.

You are asked to comment.

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