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The main impact assessment approaches and methods that are widely used in practice are presented in a series of clear summaries:

  • Logical Framework Approach
    The Logical Framework Approach is THE most widespread standard for results-based project planning in development circles. For that reason, the present guidelines are largely based on the logframe model. The Logical Framework Approach is not per se a specific method for assessing impact; rather, it makes outcome and impact assessment possible.
  • Outcome Mapping
    Outcome Mapping is an approach to developing a system to record the (qualitative) effects of projects and programmes. As an approach, it is based on an alternative understanding of outcomes and it proposes practical instruments to record outcomes. It is also a project-planning instrument.
  • Theory of Change
    Theory of Change is also an approach to results-based project planning and is based on a somewhat more open results model than the Logical Framework Approach. Like the Logical Framework Approach, it contains no instruments for assessing outcomes, but is designed instead simply to make outcome and impact assessment possible.
  • Most Significant Change
    Most Significant Change is a very specific, qualitative and participatory technique for recording the effects of projects and programmes. It is based on the systematic analysis of individual experiences and thus dispenses entirely with indicators and figures.
  • MAPP
    MAPP is likewise a specific, participatory method for recording the effects of projects and programmes. It is based on group discussions during which effects and developments are analysed retrospectively following a set programme.

Rick Davies (the man behind Most Significant Change) runs a private blog containing a great deal of information (some of it critical) and further links.

Effectiveness on the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s web site. Concepts, evaluations, effectiveness reports and further links.

Below you will find collections and overviews of impact assessment methodologies, methods and instruments used in development.

The German Evaluation Society has published an extensive overview of existing methodologies and methods of impact assessment. The methods are compared according to various criteria.

ACT Development has also produced a collection of impact assessment methods. The methods are characterised and analysed in a standardised way.

This Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation portal contains a great deal of (unfortunately fairly unstructured) information and links on the subject of “Participatory Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation”.

A list of links on monitoring and evaluation methods, including a number of practical toolkits on the website of the Institutional Learning and Change Initiative.

Below you will find handbooks on the practical implementation of results-based monitoring and evaluation systems and/or impact assessment methods.

There is a detailed handbook on project monitoring and evaluation by the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Annex D is of general interest, as it gives an overview of various monitoring and evaluation tools (from sampling to focus groups and Spider’s Web). Available in English, Arabic, Spanish and French.

Karl Herweg und Kurt Steiner, Impact Monitoring and Assessment, Instruments for use in rural development project with a focus on sustainable land management. (2002)

Another handbook on participatory monitoring and evaluation in the area of agricultural/rural development; Volume 2 describes several practical tools. Available in English and Spanish.

Brief guidelines for carrying out data collection at the beginning of a project (or at other times) by the German Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit.

The World Bank handbook focuses more on (country) programme impact assessment.

The UNDP handbook also focuses on country programme impact assessment.

The wide-ranging EuropeAid project management handbook.

Below you will find links to concrete, ready-to-use instruments for measuring impact in specific situations.

Contains four complementary methods. Originally designed for credit and savings projects, but can also be used in other areas according to the authors.