Tools and Methods for Evaluating the Efficiency of Development Interventions

The report has been commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Foreword: “Previous BMZ Evaluation Working Papers have focused on measuring impact. The present paper explores approaches for assessing efficiency. Efficiency is a powerful concept for decision making and ex post assessments of development interventions but, nevertheless, often treated rather superficially in project appraisal, project completion and evaluation reports.  Assessing efficiency is not an easy task but with potential for improvements, as the report shows. Starting with definitions and the theoretical foundations the author proposes a three level classification related to the analytical power of efficiency analysis methods. Based on an extensive literature review and a broad range of interviews, the report identifies and describes 15 distinct methods and explains how they can be used to assess efficiency. It concludes with an overall assessment of the methods described and with recommendations for their application and further development.”

Click here to download the presentation held at the meeting of the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation in Paris on June 24, 2011 and here for the presentation held at the annual conference of the American Evaluation Society in Anaheim on November 3, 2011.

For questions, you can reach the author at

We hope you enjoy the report,

Michaela Zintl (Head of Evaluation and Audit Division, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), Markus Palenberg. (Director, Institute for Development Strategy)


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