Synthetic indices: a method for evaluating aid project effectiveness

Paul Crawford*, Jarred Perryman, Peter Petocz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • aid
  • development
  • hypothesis testing
  • project evaluation
  • synthetic indices


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