A clear declaration by management
The senior management of the organisation must clearly express its desire to carry out an outcome and impact assessment of the organisation’s activities. It requires continuous effort to create the necessary preconditions.
A plan and a handbook as a foundation
The introduction of an impact assessment system is a matter for all of an organisation’s departments involved with the planning, implementation, steering and evaluation of development measures as well as learning and knowledge management within the organisation. The basis for this is a clear and binding institutional plan as well as a practice-oriented handbook for implementation purposes. This explains the concepts, formats, instruments and methods to the users and defines the standard forms for planning, monitoring and reporting.
Capacity and know-how
Implementing an impact assessment system is a multi-year process that requires the corresponding capacity. Partner organisations should receive special support in areas in which they are insufficiently developed in order to build up their monitoring skills, and it makes particular sense in development terms to ensure that both capacity and qualifications are sustainable.
Partner organisations and staff must be trained. This requires a flexible programme of further training as well as a scheme for training new staff.
Participatory impact assessment in the field requires that enough time be scheduled. Adequate attention must be paid to methodological questions in the preparation stages for impact analysis. External experts must also be introduced to the concepts and methods used.
Impact assessment requires resources. The cost should be included in the budget under project monitoring. It makes sense to budget yearly about 0.5-2.5% of the overall costs of projects and services for impact assessment. In years when actual expenses are lower, the unused funds can be allocated to an impact assessment fund held in reserve. This allows specific impact assessment projects to be carried out on a regular basis, e.g. every four years.