The relations between these terms should therefore be made explicit. The outcome definition refers to effects, which are also intended or unintended. Practitioner as Moderator: Occasionally it may be necessary to moderate between the various parties in reaching consensus in particularly difficult issues. Article Metrics Views 3. The only differentiating elements are that impacts operate on longer timescales than outcomes, though it is not clear whether time to results or longevity of results is referred to. This section reviews and analyses several sets of widely used definitions of outcome and impact (see Supplemental Material) and identifies and discusses the defining elements these definitions employ. Based on this assessment, the article proposes a remedy in three parts: applying good definition practice in future definition updates, differentiating causal perspectives and using appropriate causal language, and employing meaningful qualifiers when using the terms outcome and impact. These illustrations are helpful to remind users to consider a range of possibilities and to avoid narrow interpretation of a definition. Impact is not defined at all, but, instead, three levels of outcomes are distinguished and defined. However, language used in this perspective expresses ownership of results by the intervention and can easily be interpreted to imply full attribution (Table 1). Non-intervention is the practice or policy of not becoming involved in a dispute or disagreement between other people and of not helping either side. Intervention comes from the Latin intervenire, meaning "to come between, interrupt." The article draws on definitions used in international development, but its findings also apply to domestic public sector policies and interventions. This is particularly worrisome in view of heightened attention to impact evaluation and result-based management (RBM) intended to increase the effectiveness of aid through learning, improved decision-making, and strengthened accountability (Mayne, 2007; Vähämäki, Schmidt & Molander, 2011). This can be done by developing a theory of change with key expected/intended outcomes, including reasonable end-of-program outcomes, that is, outcomes that could reasonably be expected to occur within the time and resource constraints of the intervention under consideration (Belcher, Suryadarma, & Halimanjaya, 2017). Referring to “the effects produced by the intervention,” “the results of an intervention,” or (fully) attributing changes to an intervention can easily be misunderstood to imply that the intervention is the principal and dominant cause of change, which it is not. This remark applies to many defining elements and we suggest to carefully balance the pros and cons associated with their use. It does not add clarity to a definition if used without specification. Please note that Level of Intervention is not the only meaning of LOI. For most definitions, the use of the term “outcome” implies an intervention perspective, but, in our experience, the term is also broadly applied to changes lacking strong causal linkages to the interventions, program, or policy at hand. Be warned. If this understanding is correct, the reference points are inconsistent between definitions. For outcome, only 3 of the 16 elements are used in more than half of the definitions (4 of the 10 for impact). Outcomes and impacts for each should be defined according to their purpose. In R4D, results language needs to cover both the research and the development domain, and the terms outcome and impact have their own meaning in each. the act or fact of interposing one thing between or among others, the act of intervening (as to mediate a dispute, etc. This article investigates how the terms are defined and understood by different institutions and communities. Hence, these qualifiers are purely illustrative in both cases. Translation English Cobuild Collins Dictionary, Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild, " Thats A Strillion Car" , "He's Doing A Strillion Scene", Strillion Outfit, hin, often tapered piece of material, such as wood, stone, or metal, used to fill gaps, make something. Two elements are relative and describe causal and temporal ordering. The definitions by the CIDA (2008), now Global Affairs Canada, take a fundamentally different approach. We also note that use of perspectives and language is not symmetric between outcomes and impacts: While intervention language is ambiguous in a weak causal linkage domain, system language is always correct, even if it may require some getting used to. Intervention is also a valuable method of increasing children's reading speed, which can benefit them by teaching them to read faster, whilst still retaining large chunks of important information. Sign up. The email address and/or password entered does not match our records, please check and try again. What is an area of intervention? The application of these defining elements in the various definitions is summarized in Tables 4 and 5 for outcome and impact definitions, respectively. A watchlist of local councils helps the government track flare-ups in COVID-19 cases across the country. (, Canadian International Development Agency . The second two levels form a taxonomy in which each intervention is grouped into 27 classes, and each class is grouped into six domains. Several additional observations relate to how defining elements are used: 5. In this section, we suggest a remedy in three complementary parts: applying good definition practice, getting causality right, and using additional meaningful qualifiers. The definition of the term effects itself describes changes due directly or indirectly to an intervention. For example, they restrict all three levels of outcomes to changes among beneficiaries and suggest strict ordinal relationships among the different levels of outcomes, which may not hold for interventions in complex systems with feedback loops, time lags, and different rates of change. Clearly, the 12 sets of definitions reviewed by us show more differences than commonalities in their choice of what defining elements are used. What is the Role of the Practitioner? For example, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) defines attribution as the extent to which an observed change results from an intervention, clearly implying that the change could be only partially caused by the intervention. However, taking IFAD’s definition of impact literally would lead to the counterintuitive conclusion that there exists no impact if rural people and their partners do not perceive it at the time of the evaluation, even if changes can be demonstrated by other means or will occur later. Hop on to get the meaning of LOI. This site uses cookies. ECG defines impacts as higher level outcomes and remarks that the term is avoided in its public sector guidance. (. One common use of the word refers to a specific type of meeting, or intervention, that happens with the family and friends of a drug addict; they join together to try to convince the drug user to change their ways and live a healthier life. However, two of the nine outcome definitions use these elements in a more definitive way to reduce scope: The OM definition of outcome excludes indirect effects (“changes in […] of […] with whom a program works directly”)3 and, US Agency for International Development (USAID) refer to “more immediate and intended effects.”. While it is tempting to simply suggest that the term outcome be restricted to a strong causal linkage domain to clearly differentiate it from impact, we believe that such definitions would be overly restrictive vis-à-vis current usage and understanding. (, Vähämäki, J., Schmidt, M., Molander, J. Hence, the terms “short,” “medium,” and “long” are open to individual interpretation. In other words, one or a set of interventions contribute to observed change but are usually not understood to represent necessary or sufficient causes for it. Another intent is in each case to make it easy to use a Nursing Minimum Data Set (NMDS). Practitioner as Innovator: Taking a broader perspective of the upgrading process allows identification of needed interventions. intervention (interventions plural ) Intervention is the act of intervening in a situation. should be set at zero for other feed grains. Because achieving international consensus on a new set of sound definitions may be challenging, we hope this advice can also mitigate some of the problems associated with current definitions and encourage users to provide precise and accurate definitions of their own terms. Similarly, the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) definition would imply that there is no impact if effects in the targeted population groups are not identifiable, again confounding change with measured change. They point out dimensions along which the results being defined can take all possible values. In our view, this represents a step back—rather than forward and rather than avoiding confusion, it opens the door to unguided individual interpretations without proper reference. Clearly, this is not a good basis for unambiguously defining or for distinguishing such important concepts. Similarities and differences along all defining elements (see Table 2) are indicated in Tables 4 and 5 for outcomes and impacts, respectively. In contrast, we find that describing functional types of results in definitions holds much potential. CIFOR’s definitions build on the functional type definitions provided by OM and CIDA, distinguishing outcome and impact by the type of results they describe. The definition uses beneficiality and intentionality of results in an illustrative fashion, similar to OECD’s definition. We believe that a useful way forward is to distinguish academic/scientific impact pathways, where the main intended users are other researchers and the main intended outcomes are improved knowledge and improved science, from research-for-development impact pathways, which must be assessed in terms of contributions to social, economic, and/or environmental change. The intervention perspective does not assume that the intervention causes all of the change. In contrast, half of the impact definitions take a system perspective and express this as “changes […] to which the program has contributed” (Gujit & Woodhill, 2002, p. A-6) or “long-term effects resulting from a chain of events to which research has contributed” (CGIAR IEA, 2015, p. 21). The terms “outcome” and “impact” are ubiquitous in development evaluation discourse and in program documents of development interventions. However, relative ordering can be safely inferred. rest as a medical treatment for stress or anxiety etc. (, The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development . Moreover, within the impact evaluation community, the 3ie definitions apply mainly to experimental and quasi-experimental designs based on explicit counterfactual thinking. […].” The 3ie definitions of outcome and impact therefore have potential to cause confusion including within the impact evaluation community itself. CIDA’s definitions also exhibit several weaknesses. Defining and assessing research quality in a transdisciplinary context, Evaluating policy-relevant research: Lessons from a series of theory-based outcomes assessments, Bundesminis-terium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, International Development Research Centre, Evaluierungskriterien für die deutsche bilaterale Entwicklungszusammenarbeit [Evaluation criteria for German bilateral development cooperation], Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Parsing Internationally Accepted Definitions, Outcomes and Impacts of Development Interventions,,, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2002), Stern, Stame, Mayne, Forss, & Befani, 2012, Belcher, Rasmussen, Kemshaw, & Zornes, 2016, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, 2016),,,,,,,,, Evaluating complex interventions: A theory-driven realist-informed approach, A Contribution to Current Debates in Impact Evaluation.

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