Selecting Impact/Outcome Evaluation Designs: A Decision-Making Table and Checklist Approach

This article from Paul Duignan is aimed at supporting evaluators decide which impact/outcome evaluation design is most appropriate to use. A decision-making table approach is provided to assist in the selection of one of the seven possible groups of impact/outcome evaluation.

Furthermore, the guide also supports evaluators to select the best technique for attempting to deal with non-equivalent comparison group issues in constructed matched comparison group designs.


  • How to use this decision-making table approach
  • The decision to use an impact/outcome evaluation design
  • Impact/outcome evaluation design can be a complex technical decision
  • Preliminary information
  • Decision-making Table 1: Impact/outcome evaluation design selection
  • Four techniques for improving constructed matched comparison impact/outcome designs
  • Decision-making Table 2: Selection of techniques to improve constructed matched comparison group impact/outcome evaluation designs
  • The decision-making tables
  • Table 1: Impact/outcome evaluation design selection
  • Table 2: Selecting techniques to improve constructed matched comparison group designs
  • Checklists for the seven impact/outcome evaluation designs
  • Checklist 1: True experiment design checklist
  • Checklist 2: Regression discontinuity design checklist
  • Checklist 3: Time series analysis design checklist
  • Checklist 4: Constructed matched comparison group design checklist
  • Checklist 5: Exhaustive causal identification and elimination design
  • Checklist 6: Expert judgment design checklist
  • Checklist 7: Key informant judgment design checklist


Duignan, P. (2009). Selecting impact/outcome evaluation designs: a decision-making table and checklist approach. Outcomes Theory Knowledge Base Article No. 256. retrieved from

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Research Fellow, RMIT University.


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