Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Daniela Schroter

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Coryn

Third Advisor

Mary Kane


Evaluation, evaluation capacity, international development, impact evaluation, group concept mapping


To mitigate problems that development practitioners, evaluation managers, funders, and evaluators might face when considering how to plan and implement impact evaluations, there is a need for increased clarity around these issues. The primary purpose of this research was to build upon the results of a group concept mapping (GCM) study conducted at the International Labour Organization to examine two related, but separate issues: (1) what are the perceptions of evaluators and international development practitioners with regards to elements of organizational impact evaluation capacity? and (2) how do the responses of a larger group of evaluators and development practitioners either support or not support the conceptual structure of the original co-developed concept map? Descriptive and inferential investigations provided insight into the perspectives of international development practitioners with regard to impact evaluation capacity for organizations, and an examination of the validity of the framework presented by the original concept map, to develop a comprehensive impact evaluation capacity development framework.

This research employed a cross-sectional design using a survey developed around the ideas from the original concept mapping study. Using a sampling of items from the original study, the survey data was analyzed via exploratory factor-analysis (EFA), using the concept map structure as the theoretical model to identify the constructs underlying the survey instrument. Results were linked back to the original concept map to build a revised conceptual framework for impact evaluation capacity development. The framework was vetted via expert review to enhance its utility and relevance.

A six-factor model was identified from the EFA and used to develop a framework for understanding and developing impact evaluation within institutions who may be seeking to incorporate these types of evaluations into their organizational infrastructure. The model is presented as a sequence of steps that together form a comprehensive structure for effectively planning, designing, and implementing impact evaluations. It also serves as a sensemaking tool for practitioners to use when trying to link the existing literature and guidance around impact evaluation to their own work.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access