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Guidelines for assessing the impacts of ACIAR's research activities


Three years ago ACIAR commissioned reviews of the impact assessment studies. These summarised the overall return of ACIAR’s research and development (R&D) investments and also assessed the consistency of the studies. A range of independent consultants are commissioned to undertake these assessments so it was not surprising that the reviewers found that there was variability in the detail, rigour and presentation of the results. Therefore we decided to develop a set of guidelines for all independent consultants to use as a basis for future assessments. The aim of the guidelines is to ensure consistency in the methodological approaches used, the treatment of information collected and presentation of the results.

The Special Panel on Impact Assessment of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Science Council has also developed guidelines for its impact assessment activities, which are available on their website at http://www.sciencecouncil.cgiar.org/fileadmin/user_upload/sciencecouncil/Impact_Assessment/SC_epIA_low-res_for_web.pdf.

In November 2008 the CGIAR held a meeting on ‘Defining and Refining Good Practice in Ex-post Impact Assessment’ in Brazil which included participants from the impact assessment focal points (IAFPs) of the international centers and the Challenge Programs, and the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA). A synthesis report from the meeting is available from their website at http://www.sciencecouncil.cgiar.org/fileadmin/user_upload/sciencecouncil....