Impact Assessment

State of the Art in Impact Assessment, especially SED, by Spaeth for SDC, 2004 (English/French)

    In recent years impact assessment has become an increasingly important aspect of development activities. This is spurred by questions like: Do we do the right things? Do we do them right? The field of small enterprise development (SED) is no exception.

    Although there is an overall concern for impact assessment in development cooperation, each “compartment” or “discipline” seems to need its own specific approach and methodology to assess impact. This applies also for the wider field of SED. For example in the field of micro-finance, including financial services for small enterprises, the issue has been dealt some time ago.

    Currently, attempts are under way to come up with something specific for the field of non-financial services to small enterprises, and in particular to
    the market development approach for Business Development Services (BDS). While there are certain peculiarities in the different fields of development assistance which require specific attention, the wider task of impact assessment has, nevertheless, a lot of communalities.

    This paper first addresses the common issues of impact assessment. Secondly, it looks at the approaches and methods developed and discussed particularly for SED and related development interventions. And finally it will introduces some other concepts for looking and assessing impact.

    For What's New visitors, the latest addition is the French translation of this Paper; thanks to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and GRET.

    Summary of results
    The Paper focuses its conclusions in six key areas:

    (i) assessment of higher development policy goals
    (ii) causality and attribution
    (iii) plausibility
    (iv) experience and scientific research
    (v) concentration on the feasible, and
    (iv) a common understanding.