Results in development co-operation

What are results?


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Development is about improvement and change. Providers of development co-operation and developing countries define how they want to change by setting goals and managing for sustainable results.

What are results?

Results are defined as the outputs, outcomes or impacts of development interventions, with each element contributing to the next, as set out in the results chain below. The links between each element are as important as the results themselves, reflecting the theory of change and the roles of providers and other stakeholders.

Development co-operation providers use output, outcome and impact information (results data) at different levels (corporate, country, project) to communicate and account for what has been achieved, and to enable learning, informed decision making and course corrections.

Outputs: The products, capital goods and services which result from development interventions
Outcomes: The likely or achieved short-term and medium-term change and effects of intervention outputs
Impact: Positive and negative, primary and secondary, long-term effects produced by development interventions

Providers of development co-operation organise results information into all (or some of) three tiers at corporate and/or country levels:

Global or national development change (outcomes and impact)
to which providers contribute

Results (outputs and outcomes) to which providers contribute directly, or which are attributable to provider interventions

Operational and organisational performance
of interventions and providers






Results in real life…

A selection of results from providers of development co-operation at different levels and in different sectors

IconCategoryResults example(s)


[Sweden] has contributed to the adoption of 166 laws, draft laws and policies that aim to improvements in gender equality in 22 countries. (2009-2013) ( Sida )

Service delivery, particularly in the social sectors

“Since 2011, UK aid has supported 11.3 million children in primary and lower secondary education, of whom 5.3 million were girls, and helped train 380 000 teachers.” ( DFID )

Capacity development

“In the Philippines, Australia is working with the Philippines Government to improve capacity to develop and implement public private partnership projects. In 2015-16, the performance benchmark of 14 projects competitively tendered was exceeded with 26 projects tendered and 12 projects awarded.” ( DFAT Australia )


“nearly 75 million voters registered in 40 countries”  ( UNDP )

Rights and protection

“1.8 million people in targeted populations [were] exposed to a mass media campaign providing information about trafficking in persons.” ( USAID )

Physical infrastructure development

“[In Cameroon] the number of people in urban areas with access to all-season roads within a 500-meter range increased from 31 000 to 435 000 between 2009 and 2015.” ( World Bank )

Productive sectors – agriculture, fisheries, industry, minerals, etc.

“In Ghana, high-yielding cashew clonal material and the introduction of more intensive farming methods, through intercropping with high-value food crops, have nearly tripled cashew nut yields and increased rural incomes by 65%.” ( AfDB )

Private sector development / enabling environment

“TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), a Dutch supported programme, is well on track to realise regional trade facilitation, … A key result of TMEA is achieved in Kenya as an important country for African trade. Cooperation with port authorities reduced time to import there to 6.6 days.” ( Netherlands MFA )

The environment

“In recent years, the net loss of forest area has slowed globally. In partner countries, the average loss since 2010 is 4.0 %. The decline has been slowest in Oceania and the more advanced developing countries (1.6 % and 1.9 % respectively) and fastest in North and Central America and Far East Asia (8.4 % and 7.5 % respectively).” ( EU )

Climate change

 “Between 1990 … and 2012, global emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide) increased by over 50%.” ( EU )

Conflict resolution

“In the African Great Lakes region …local people now find it easier to obtain land tenure. Where necessary, village groups are invited to participate directly in the settlement of conflicts over land. To date, more than half of some 850 conflicts over land have been successfully resolved by setting up reconciliation committees and employing mediation, and the land in question returned to its original owners.“ ( SDC )



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