The paper begins with a political history of the 'results’ discourse in the public sector in general and in development aid in particular. It examines perceptions of the effects of the discourse’s artefacts (tools and protocols), identifies who are the actors promoting these and looks at the drivers of their success. The paper particularly explores how result based management artefacts create and reproduce a certain instrumental meaning and managerial ’best practice’ approach to development and exclude other meanings from consideration. This paper is based on the experience of the author in the field of development cooperation and is illustrated with examples from bilateral aid agencies, global funds and international NGOs.
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