IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Measuring results in development: the role of impact evaluation in agency-wide performance measurement systems


  • Richard Manning
  • Howard White


The need to demonstrate results has been growing over the last two decades. There is a growing recognition that outcome monitoring only tells us what happened, not why it happened, and so outcome monitoring cannot give useful information about the effectiveness of development interventions. Many agencies are turning to impact evaluations to assess the change in outcomes which may be attributed to their interventions. As more impact evaluations are produced, the question arises as to how these studies can be used to assess how the agency as a whole is performing. We discuss the 'triple A' principles for an Agency Wide Performance Measurement System (AWPMS) - alignment, attribution, and aggregation - as well as several other challenges faced in designing and implementing such systems: the balance between lesson learning and accountability, independence versus influence, modifying incentive structures for results, determining how many impact evaluations to conduct and of what, and ensuring the use of these studies. We conclude by urging greater cooperation between those charged with measuring results and those conducting impact evaluations in order to develop AWPMS which can meaningfully report on agency performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Manning & Howard White, 2014. "Measuring results in development: the role of impact evaluation in agency-wide performance measurement systems," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 337-349, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:6:y:2014:i:4:p:337-349
    DOI: 10.1080/19439342.2014.989673

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jdevef:v:6:y:2014:i:4:p:337-349. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.