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How to assess development impacts

dia_toolsCountries may assess the development impacts of a proposed or implemented policy, program, or project on social, economic, and environmental development goals through a five-step process:


    1. 1. Identify the policy or program of interest: What policy or program am I considering?


    1. 2. Define impacts to consider: What impacts am I interested in identifying and evaluating?


    1. 3. Identify the options for examining impacts: What tools and methodologies, both
      quantitative and qualitative, are available for impact analysis?


    1. 4. Conduct the analysis.


  1. 5. Share the results.

What policy or program am I considering?

The purpose of this initial step is to identify the policy or program of interest. For example, this could be a goal of increasing the amount of power generated from renewables, improving a mass transit system, or implementing an agroforestry program.


What impacts am I interested in identifying and evaluating?

Development impacts of interest may be social, economic, or environmental, and may include multiple impacts of interest. These will likely be aimed at meeting development objectives. For example, a country (or municipality) may want to improve energy access of rural communities, decrease reliance on imported fossil fuels, or increase jobs.


What tools and methodologies are available for impact analysis?

A variety of approaches and tools are available for analysis. Choosing the right tool depends on the action under consideration, the impact(s) of interest, availability of data, cost (if any) of the tool, training needed in order to learn how to use the tool, and a number of other considerations. The DIA tools search is aimed at helping answer this question and guide users to tools that best meet their needs.


Conduct the analysis.

The next step is to conduct the analysis, using the tool or tools identified in step 3. This may involve sophisticated analysis over many months or application of a simple spreadsheet tool or methodology. It also may involve reviewing the experiences of other countries in conducting similar analysis.


Share the results.

Communicating impacts to busy decision-makers is an important final step. One option is to use the DIA visual framework for documenting and summarizing analysis results. The DIA visual provides a handy way to display the results and conclusions from your analysis.

For more information on using the DIA tool search see ways to use the Development Impacts Assessment tool search.