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From Designing and Implementing impact evaluations

Impact evaluations are now a part and parcel of international development grants. They not only serve an accountability function for donors and other stakeholders but provide an opportunity to learn lessons improving the delivery of subsequent interventions. Impact evaluations enable an understanding of the extent to which project goals have been met and assess both intended and unintended consequences of a programme. As a result, they help build the evidence base in the sector and facilitate improved allocation of resources.

CMS has conducted over 170 evaluations working with local and national government, donors and NGOs. We work closely with clients to ensure they commission the right type of evaluation for their needs. We have designed checklists and decision-making tools to aid the process. Evaluators have a tendency to alter programme designs in order to improve assessment processes. This results in tensions with programme implementers. We understand the need to compromise between staying faithful to the programme design and safeguarding the evaluation processes.

Many outcomes in development can be intangible and the result of multiple interacting factors. Consequently, experimental methods are not best suited to evaluate these programmes. We use a range of methodological tools to capture these nuances and have robust systems and processes to ensure high quality data collection and data quality assurance.

With evaluations, the journey is as important as the destination. Process evaluations have often been neglected, but they allow us to understand how the outcome has been achieved and the conditions necessary to bring about that change. They consider issues faced in programme delivery and explore how barriers were overcome. These crucial insights inform whether and how initiatives can be scaled and replicated in different settings.  

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  • From Designing and Implementing impact evaluations

    Impact evaluations are now a part and parcel of international development grants.

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  • Why care for robust secondary data

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  • Measuring the Immeasurable

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  • The importance of fit-for-purpose research design

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  • Using Evidence to Influence Program Design

    Breakthrough’s Early Marriage Campaign, implemented in three districts of the Indian States of Jharkhand and Bihar, aims to utilise a media (mass and community) programme that challenges existing norms around gender and sexuality, for discouraging the practice of early marriage.

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    As experts in social value assessment of business models, we support various corporates to monitor the social performance and assess the impact of their initiatives.The idea of social value is distinct from CSR, and is way broader.

  • What Builds an Effective Information Exchange and Communication System for Disaster Response

    Calling information a “life-saving resource”, the World Disasters Report, 2005 noted: “Disaster-affected people need information as much as water, food, medicine or shelter: accurate, timely information can save lives.”

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    In India, around 70 percent to 90 percent of the rural households depend on agriculture and allied sector as their principal means of livelihood. Smallholder farmers constitute 80 percent of total farm households...