Measuring Impact Qualitatively
Join a webinar on preliminary findings from a MEASURE Evaluation research study entitled Measuring Impact Qualitatively. The one-hour webinar will take place Thursday, October 29, at 10:00 AM EDT. The study and the webinar aim to elicit discussion and share insights regarding the role of qualitative methods in evaluative efforts to understand and measure impact.
The impetus for the study came largely from recognition that impact evaluations are increasingly a priority for USAID and other donors. The general goal for impact evaluations is to map causal relationships, measure change over time, and attribute that change. With such a goal, impact becomes largely a quantitative metric to compare projects and their intended outcomes as they relate to broader objectives around sustainable economic and social development. More often than not, less emphasis is placed on considering impact in qualitative terms—that is, through the perspectives of individual beneficiaries, their specific experiences, and how those experiences might have changed over time. Such a focus can be important in accounting for the ways “impact” is a subjective concept.
The Measuring Impact Qualitatively study is led by Susan Pietrzyk with contributions from Reeti Hobson, Lwendo Moonzwe, and Debra Prosnitz. Over the course of this past year, in reviewing USAID-funded and HIV/AIDS-related evaluations, the research team explored what a quantitative measure of impact can tell us (and not tell us) while also thinking through the ways evaluations often measure impact qualitatively.
Susan Pietrzyk is a senior technical specialist with ICF International, and serves as the activity lead for the MEASURE Evaluation Measuring Impact Qualitatively study; qualitative study specialist for the USAID Office of Food for Peace Baseline Studies; and project manager for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Impact Evaluation Initiative. With more than 20 years of experience as a researcher and project implementer, manager, and evaluator, she has built a diverse technical and methodological skill set, including experience in food security, maternal and child health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, sexual decision making, gender, and community mobilization. She holds a PhD in anthropology.