DEFINITION 1: Impact evaluation: A type of evaluation that focuses on the broad, longer-term
impact or results, whether intended or unintended, of a programme or outcome.
SOURCE: Handbook on monitoring and evaluating for results. UNDP, Evaluation Office, New York, 2002.
DEFINITION 2: An evaluation that tries to make a causal link between a program or intervention and a set of outcomes. An impact evaluation tries to answer the question of whether a program is responsible for changes in the outcomes of interest. Contrast with process evaluation.
SOURCE: Gertler, P., J., et al (2011). Impact Evaluation in Practice, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank.
DEFINITION 3: The primary purpose of impact evaluation is to estimate the magnitude and distribution of changes in outcome and impact indicators among different segments of the target population, and the extent to which these changes can be attributed to the interventions being evaluated. Impact evaluation can be used to assess the impacts of projects (clearly defined and time-bound interventions with a defined funding); programmes (broader interventions that often comprise a number of projects, with multiple interventions, a wider geographical coverage and often no end date); and policies (broad strategies designed to strengthen or change how government agencies operate or to introduce new economic, fiscal, or administrative initiatives).
SOURCE: Segone, M.(Ed). (2010). From policies to results: Developing capacities for country monitoring and evaluation systems, Unicef.
RELATED TERMS: evaluation, external evaluation, internal evaluation, impact evaluation, process evaluation, self-assessment, self-evaluation