Methodological and conceptual challenges of evaluating the impact of development interventions

J. Vaessen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

349 Downloads (Pure)


In the past years, doubts about the usefulness of development cooperation have led to an increase in rigorous impact evaluation. Many people, however, wrongly align ‘rigorous’, with the use of randomized experiments. This dissertation distinguishes three important categories of challenges in impact evaluation: delimitation, attribution versus explanation, and practical implementation. A reflection about these issues, and not so much a certain method, forms the basis for rigorous study. Within this framework the various sub-studies illustrate the following aspects: the limitations and the potential of randomized experiments; the importance of a policy-theoretical perspective in impact evaluation, and the importance of combining suitable methods.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Leeuw, Frans, Supervisor
  • Renard, R., Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date16 Sept 2010
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789052789682
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • development cooperation
  • impact evaluation

Cite this