Pascal Lamy: « Impact measurement is still an experimental science. »


Pascal Lamy is both World Trade Organization General Manager and Vice-Chairman of the Guidance Committee of the Danone Ecosystem Fund. Here is the edito he wrote for the Danone Ecosystem Fund latest newsletter


Reblogged from Danone Ecosystem

At a time when financial difficulties are forcing all those who are supporting development to measure the impact of their efforts, we must acknowledge the fact that various methodologies are available, that their implementation is still in its infancy and that the publication of their results remains opaque.

A strange paradox when one considers that development assistance has been one of the international community’s priorities for over 50 years!

I discovered this recently when the WTO embarked on an evaluation of the results of programs aiming at reinforcing the trade capacity of the poorest countries which we coordinate on a global level.

Due to a lack of recognised and proven techniques that could serve as benchmarks, the most pragmatic approach seems to be to follow a few principles:

– Include assessment methods as soon as projects are conceived.

– Ensure the participation of beneficiaries in decisions regarding selected indicators.

– Use a variety of disciplines that combine qualitative and quantitative considerations, microeconomics, social and environmental sciences.

– Do not yield to the temptation to change thermometers during the experience.

– Accept the fact that even if the assessment increases the cost of programs in the short-term, it is a necessary investment to ensure their quality and profitability in the medium and long term.

To sum up, we have to accept to deal with complexity, which unfortunately is less acknowledged these days.

You can read the orginal version here.