Impact Assessment

Participatory Value Chain Analysis for Impact Assessment of Pro-Poor Enterprise Development, ILO, Mayoux 2003

    New approaches to enterprise development raise not only more complex questions, but also exacerbate the well-documented challenges for programme-level impact assessment. Impact assessment is necessary in order to assess and compare the relative effectiveness of different interventions at different levels. The effects of enterprise development strategies may depend on the fine detail of the particular interventions concerne. Effects may also depend crucially on the attitudes and motivations of the different stakeholders and how these influence the interplay of existing power relations in the implementation of the different strategies. The demands and expectations currently being placed on impact assessment mean that there is now a need to move on from one-off external "policing" exercises to assessments which capture the complexity of impacts on enterprises, stakeholders and people at different levels, lead to useful recommendations for program improvement and contribute to setting up sustainable learning processes among stakeholders.

    This paper focuses on the potential contributions of one modelling and analytical tool: value chains analysis used as part of a participatory assessment process. As well as providing a practical guide to value chains analysis, this paper focuses on the ways in which value chains action research can be used as part of a sustainable participatory process for strategic learning and ongoing accountability within and between enterprise sectors. The paper links the tools and methodologies for value chains analysis discussed elsewhere with discussions of impact assessment indicators, sampling, analysis and dissemination.