Choosing appropriate designs and methods for impact evaluation - Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science has commissioned this report to explore the challenges and document a range of possible approaches for the impact evaluations that the department conducts. Research for the project comprised interviews with key internal stakeholders to understand their needs, and a review of the literature on impact evaluation, especially in the industry, innovation and science context. That research led directly to the development of this guide. This research project is the first stage of a larger project to develop materials as the basis for building departmental capability in impact evaluation.

BetterEvaluation's Professor Patricia Rogers along with ARTD Consulting have worked with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to create this report.

"The choice of methods and designs for impact evaluation of policies and programmes in industry, innovation and science is not straightforward, and comes with a unique set of challenges. Policies and programmes may depend on contributions from other agencies and other actors, or take many years to emerge. Measuring direct cause and effect can be difficult. 

There is not one right way to conduct an impact evaluation. What is needed is a combination of methods and designs that suit the particular situation. When choosing these methods and designs, three issues need to be taken into account: the available resources and constraints; the nature of what is being evaluated; and the intended use of the evaluation." (Rogers et. al., 2015, p.6)


Rogers, P., Hawkins, A., McDonald, B., Macfarlan, A. & Milne, C. (2015). Choosing appropriate designs and methods for impact evaluation. Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Report. Canberra, Australia.

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