This publication is based on a collection of papers which were presented at the Forum on Impact Studies organised by the Education Division of the Department of International Development between 24 and 25 September 1998. The forum brought together participants from a wide range of projects in India, South Africa, Morocco, Eritrea, Columbia, Mexico and Romania, as well as a number of specialists with experience in participatory approaches to project evaluation. Participants brought to the conference a profound theoretical understanding of participatory approaches to assessing impact - as well as the richness of their personal experience gained from many years of practice. DFID also welcomed representatives from the British Council, CfBT, Link Africa and Book Aid International, who provided a useful stakeholder dimension from a management and/or professional standpoint. The majority of the participants had been associated with Project Impact Assessment, which had been supported by DFID during the 1990s.

The following themes were used to systematise the papers collected in this volume:

  • What is an impact study and how should we do it?
  • The role of base line studies in impact assessment
  • Stakeholder perspectives
  • The relationship between national and external researchers
  • Training teachers as researchers
  • Topicality vs. sustainability
  • Impact assessment and sustainability
  • Anticipated and unanticipated project benefits


Educational Paper No. 35, DFID, London, UK, ISBN 1 86192 191 8, 262 pp.

Evaluating impact.

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