Impact Assessment

Evaluation as an Effective Management Tool, Oldsman, 2000

    Donor organizations and other stakeholders are interested in learning more about the performance of business development services (BDS) that have been established to help meet the diverse needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in different countries. To this end, the Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development has developed a preliminary Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) to guide research on BDS performance. The PMF presents a set of measures to assess the performance of BDS programs with the eventual aim of establishing performance standards for programs around the world.

    This paper provides a critique of the PMF within a broader discussion of the role of evaluation, particularly in terms of its use as a tool that managers can use to improve the performance of their own BDS organizations. It suggests that the PMF can be useful in helping program managers and other stakeholders assess performance on various dimensions. However, it also urges the donor committee to exercise considerable caution in establishing common performance standards given substantial differences among programs as well as trade-offs inherent in program designs. It recommends that greater emphasis be placed on in-depth program evaluations grounded in explicit theories of particular initiatives.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Impact Assessment
    »Framework for evaluating the impact of small enterprise initiatives, by Oldsman and Hallberg, 2002
    Synthesis Documents
    »Hanoi DC Conference, 2000