Concepts and Practices

What is impact?

Key messages:
• Impact is a multi-dimensional concept. Some definitions focus on very precise understandings of
impact, while others cast a much broader net.
• How impact is defined and used has a significant effect on the design, management and
evaluation of development programmes.
• Development programmes should hold explicit conversations with different stakeholders about
how impact is used and understood, in order to come to a shared understanding.
• There are six dimensions of impact that may help development programmes be clearer about
what they mean.