One of the most hotly contested issues in international development is the practice and role of impact assessment. Proponents of impact assessment argue the need to discern those policy actions and programs that bring the greatest benefits to the poor, especially in the context of scarce development budgets. Amongst proponents there are active debates over the merits of quantitative versus more qualitative and participatory approaches to assessing impacts.

Impact assessment, and especially more quantitative approaches, however, has many vocal critics that point to the difficulties entailed in capturing, amongst other things the more nuanced and indirect effects of development policies and programs. Furthermore, there are concerns that the preoccupation with impact assessment serves to direct development policies and programs towards the speedy achievement of impacts that are more readily observable (and measureable) and with insufficient regard for sustainability.

The European Journal of Development Research (EJDR) has launched a new section dedicated to the publication of original research on impact assessment. This section aims to enhance the visibility of the original research on the impacts of development policies and programs that the EJDR publishes. Furthermore, it will provide a forum for the publication of evidence-based analyses and critiques of the implications of impact assessment for development policy and practice. In so doing, this section aims to make the EJDR one of the foremost journals for the publication of impact assessment-related research in the area of international development.

Authors who would like to publish in the Impact Assessment section of the EJDR are asked to submit their work to the team of editors via the online submission system (, indicating that their submission is for the Impact Evaluation section.