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Step 6: Use the findings

What are you looking for?

The findings of the assessment can be used to build up organisational knowledge and to learn lessons for the future, to steer the organisation’s activities towards effects, or to legitimise its activities towards donors, intermediaries and the target groups.

How it is done

ActivitiesIf the findings of the impact assessment are to be used properly, then the necessary conditions need to be created and appropriate forms of communication found. These should be adapted to those receiving the information.
QuestionsAnswering to the following questions can form the sixth step in an impact assessment: Who is to use the findings and to what end? 
What can be done to encourage use of the findings?
Which forms of communication have proved their worth?
ResultsLearning sessions completed, findings articulated
Information prepared for strategic discussions and decision-making
Achieved effects reported and accounted for
ToolsGood Practice
Performance Report
ExamplesSDC: Wirkungsbericht im Wassersektor
SDC: Wirkung im Fokus – Einblick in DEZA-Programme
Helvetas: Organic Cotton changes producers’ lives

The use of findings has to be planned systematically from the beginning. Learning events, for example workshops with stakeholders, must be organised at an early stage. It should also be considered in advance in what form the findings should be disseminated more widely – for example by summarising the findings as lessons learnt.