If one is to assess and verify the effects of a project, it must first be clear how the effects are to be achieved. The project’s results model therefore forms a further basis for outcome and impact assessment. This describes the explicit and implicit assumptions about the project mechanism. It details with what means (inputs), measures (activities), deliverables (outputs) and through what interim results the project objective is to be attained. The results model is crucial for understanding and analysing successes and failures. It should be set out in either graphic or written form.
How it is done
|Results models should be developed jointly with the target groups. There are often several ways to reach a goal. In such cases, the results model forms a good basis for choosing the most effective or promising strategy of intervention.
|Coming up with answers to the following questions can form the second step in an impact assessment:
How can we solve the problem and change the situation?
What relation between cause and effect (impact hypothesis) do we base this on?
What are the preconditions for the objective to be achieved?
Which external forces work against these objectives?
What are the conceivable side effects?
What is the best strategy for reaching the project objective?
|A graphic results models suitable for showing the complexity of a project:
Simple Logic Model
Expanded Logic Model
|Logical Framework Approach: Problem and Objective analysis
Outcome Mapping: Intentional Design
Theory of Change: Backwards Mapping, Identifying interventions
Even if performance is primarily measured at the outcome level, there is a need for a hypothesis that describes how the effects on the target group (outcomes) contribute to achieving the longer-term development goal (impact). Often it is not possible to clearly attribute a long-term effect to a particular project or programme (attribution gap). There should however be a plausible explanation of how the project contributes to achieve the longer-term development goal.