Guide / Toolkit

Framework for Evaluating the Impact of Small Enterprise Initiatives

Assessing the impact of donor-funded initiatives designed to reduce poverty

Small enterprises play a critical role in the overall economy, providing a broad range of tools and services, both for domestic and foreign consumption. A large number of donor-funded programs designed to reduce poverty exist, yet few indicators that measure their actual impact on reducing poverty exist.

This paper:

  • Shows how to use program logic models to structure the chain of causality between program inputs, outputs, and outcomes;
  • Focuses on interventions to develop markets for business development services and how to apply these principles in practice.

The author recommends the following:

  • For evaluators:
    • Clarify targets, tools and underlying program logic,
    • Plan evaluation at the inception of programs,
    • Establish baseline data and program records,
    • Recognize that impact assessment is explicitly about demonstrating causality,
    • Build valid comparisons into the analysis,
    • Use multiple methods,
    • Recognize that good enough is not good enough,
    • Commit needed resources.
  • For donor committees:
    • Establish evaluation standards,
    • Collect and disseminate information on good evaluation practices,
    • Collaborate on comprehensive of selected initiatives.

About this Publication

By Oldsman, E. & Hallberg, K.