Outcomes and Impact
Understanding Social Development
How can development agencies evaluate the long term impact of their social development programmers? What types of method do they need to employ? How effective are formal planning, monitoring and evaluation systems at understanding social change? Building on the experience of many different agencies, Outcomes and Impacts provides a comprehensive discussion of the difficulties, dilemmas and opportunities of understanding the outcomes and impact of social development programmes and projects. The publication shows that while there are no easy solutions for evaluating impact, a range of methods and approaches can be employed in order to provide an adequate understanding of social change. Case studies are presented of NGO which have succeeded in evaluating these complex social processes, within the constraints imposed by resources, staff skills, existing monitoring and evaluation requirements and external pressures. It illustrates genuine, innovative attempts to bring the rhetoric of evaluating impact into the reality of on-going development programmes. It provides invaluable lessons for development practitioners and researches seeking to establish more effective methods for understanding the outcomes and impact of development interventions.
Brian Pratt is one of the founding members of INTRAC and is the Executive Director. He has worked in many countries as a consultant and researcher for NGOs, and multi- and bilateral agencies. The primary focus of his publications and consultancies is on strategic policy issues for NGOs and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).