Impact assessment : measuring what matters

SARMA, Jaisankar
VICARY, Bernard

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In program assessment, impact can refer to outcomes that are shown to be caused by a program, and which would not have occurred in the absence of the program. Evaluation of impact in this sense involves analysis of causal relationships. This has been most successfully accomplished when assessing empirical indicators, in comparison to other social and cultural indicators associated with development. Assessing causal relationships when evaluating community development programs remains very challenging. Evaluations often have credible conclusions about results, but only provide hints about impact, in this sense.
The concepts and principles in this paper apply more to long-term community based development programs rather than disaster response programs. They are written from the perspective of an NGO practitioner, where evaluation is seen as part of the overall program cycle and normal program activities

Association of Christian Economists (ACE) 20th Anniversary Conference: Economists, Practitioners, and the Attack on Poverty: Toward Christian Collaboration
5-6 January, 2003
Washington, DC

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