Step-by-step guide to Impact Evaluation
Step by step plan to follow for an impact evaluation
Here we define an evaluation as the whole plan made up of several assessments, the exercises in this section will start with doing an assessment. This will be part of your impact evaluation.
This general step by step plan is a guide for any impact evaluation and gives you the main points to follow. More detail about how to do this is covered later in the course
- Decide the key impacts or outcomes you want to assess- the ones important for the project/ participants and donors. They may be the outcomes related to the objectives of the project and will be driven by the Theory of Change. (see course on Theory of Change)
- Decide on Indicators to use, if you are able to include recognised indicators, or you develop your own. See resources on Indicators.
- A baseline assessment if possible so you can tell the difference over time. If the project has already started, a new group or village joining the project can act as baseline
- A comparison group if possible – ie those with and without the project activities
- A representative sample of people or farms etc – do not go for the easiest to approach group or the nearest village or the most enthusiastic participants (see lesson on Sampling)
- Seasonal considerations are important so you measure the same thing at the same time of year (e.g. harvest data, consumption of foods)
- Decide who to interview based on the knowledge they have on the subject
- Work out a sample size and sampling plan (this is true for both qualitative and quantitative surveys. For qualitative surveys, the idea of ‘sampling to redundancy’ is introduced.
- Decide how to analyse and report the data
- Make sure there is a plan to ensure that recommendations are implemented
- A sharing plan so others can benefit (Community, Project staff, Funders, Research community)
See further lessons on Qualitative and Quantitative Assessments
Different types of data
- Quantitative: Measures, quantities, numeric values, statistics
- Qualitative: ideas opinions, words, meanings, experiences