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Journal Article

IDS Bulletin Vol. 45 Nos. 6

The Triviality of Measuring Ultimate Outcomes: Acknowledging the Span of Direct Influence

Published on 2 November 2014

Sustainability standards and certification schemes have been promoted as a market driven instrument for realising development impacts and receive public funding. As a result, companies, NGOs and supporting donors and governments want to know if these ambitions have been fulfilled. Their tendency is to commission household surveys to assess net effects of certification in areas such as poverty, productivity and food security.

This article argues that, rather than trying to measure precise net effects on farmer income, the focus should be on detailed measurement of more immediate outcomes in terms of knowledge and implementation of good agricultural practices. Contribution analysis is proposed as an overall approach to verify the theory of change, combining survey based net effect measurement of these immediate and intermediate outcomes with less precise, lean monitoring of indicators to verify the contributory role of these outcomes that are outside the span of direct influence, such as household income and poverty alleviation.

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This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 45.6 (2014) The Triviality of Measuring Ultimate Outcomes: Acknowledging the Span of Direct Influence

Cite this publication

Ton, G., Vellema, S. and Ge, L. (2014) The Triviality of Measuring Ultimate Outcomes: Acknowledging the Span of Direct Influence. IDS Bulletin 45(6): 37-48

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Authors

Image of Giel Ton
Giel Ton

Research Fellow

Sietze Vellema
Lan Ge

Publication details

published by
IDS
authors
Ton, G., Vellema, S. and Ge, L.
journal
IDS Bulletin, volume 45, issue 6
doi
10.1111/1759-5436.12111

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Research themes
Inclusive Economies

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