Synthetic Indices: A Method for Evaluating Aid Project Effectiveness

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Journal Article
Evaluation, 2004, 10 (2), pp. 175 - 192
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© 2004, SAGE Publications. Demands are increasingly being placed on aid agencies to demonstrate impact, but the measurement and attribution of non-tangible changes in complex environments are problematic. Synthetic indices are frequently used by statisticians in other contexts to capture complex changes and may prove useful to describe changes effected by aid projects. A hierarchy of hypotheses is presented to describe a case-study project. The construction of synthetic indices to test the ‘development hypothesis’ implicit in the strategy is described and possible extensions to the concept are outlined.
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