• Accountability

    • In General

      The fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.

    • In Evaluation

      Obligation to demonstrate that work has been conducted in compliance with agreed rules and standards or to report fairly and accurately on performance results vis a vis mandated roles and/or plans.

    • In Accounting

      The responsibility of either an individual or epartment to perform a specific function in accounting. An auditor reviewing a company’s financial statement is responsible and legally liable for any misstatements or instances of fraud. Accountability forces an accountant to be careful and knowledgeable in their professional practices, as even negligence can cause them to be legally responsible.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries (2) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (3) Accounting: Investopedia
    COMMENTARY

    Diferent uses in diferent fields reflect whether being accountable is an ethical, mangement/administrative, financial, and/ or legal responsibility.

    Each responsibility carries diferent consequences. Some uses of accountability include the responsibility to disclose or report results in a transparent manner.

  • Additionality

    • In Evaluation

      The extent to which desirable outcomes would have occurred without public intervention (the ‘counterfactual’). There are diferent forms of additionality, namely: i) Input addtionality – the extent to which intervention supplements or substitutes for inputs provided by other means, e.g. the market, or by other actors, e.g. firms’ own resources. ii) Output additionality – the proportion of outputs that would not have been created without public intervention. iii) Behavioural additionality – the diference in behaviour of a target population from public intervention. The concept of behavioural additionality emphasises that programmes have wider and more sustained efects than those that are most obvious to measure and that persistence of efects is of high value. Behavioural additionality concerns itself less with inputs and outputs and more with sustained changes in the behaviour of target groups, induced by contact with any stage of a programme or policy.

    • In Economics

      Extent to which a new input (action or item) adds to the existing inputs (instead of replacing any of them) and results in a greater aggregate.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: http:// www.oecd.org/innovation/policyplatform/ 48136975.pdf (2) Economics: http:// businessdictionary.com/
  • Abatement cost

    • in Economics

      A cost borne by many businesses for the removal and/or reduction of an undesirable item that they have created. Abatement costs are generally incurred when corporations are required to reduce possible nuisances or negative byproducts created during production.

    Practice & Source: (1) Economics: Investopedia
    COMMENTARY

    There are several types of abatement. Common ones include: a) in business, a reduction in the amount of a bill or charge; b) in the environmental sector, elimination or reduction of polluting or hazardous substances (such as asbestos) by removal or other method; c) taxation, a reduction or rebate of taxes given in special circumstances. Abatement cost typically refers to the cost to a business of reducing a problem they have created, such as a pollutant.

  • Accounting

    • in accounting

      The work of keeping a company’s financial records, recording its income and expenses, and its business deals.

    • in general

      The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner. It also includes the responsibility for money or other entrusted property.

    Practice & Source: (1) Accounting: Financial Times Lexicon (2) Generic: BusinessDictionary.com
    COMMENTARY

    Accounting can also refer to the profession and field, not just the practice.

  • Accredited Investor

    • in finance

      A person or entity that can deal with securities not registered with financial authorities by satisfying one of the requirements regarding income, net worth, asset size, governance status or professional experience. The term is used by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Regulation D to refer to investors who are financially sophisticated and have a reduced need for the protection provided by regulatory disclosure filings. Accredited investors include natural individuals, banks, insurance companies, brokers and trusts.

    Practice & Source: (1) Finance/Impact investing: Investopedia
    COMMENTARY

    As noted in Wikipedia, the definition of an accredited investor (if any), and the consequences of being classified as such, vary between countries. Generally, accredited investors include high-net-worth individuals, banks, and other large corporations, who have access to complex and higher-risk investments such as venture capital, hedge funds and angel investments.

  • Activity(ies)

    • in Evaluating

      Actions taken or work performed through which inputs, such as funds, technical assistance and other types of resources are mobilized to produce specific outputs.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management
  • Agency

    • in general

      (a) Action or intervention producing a particular effect.
      (b) A thing or person that acts to produce a particular result.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
    COMMENTARY

    In social sciences, agency refers to the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices and control their lives. Many interventions aim to increase the agency of the beneficiaries, not just achieve specific outcomes.

  • American Evaluation Association (AEA)

    • in evaluating

       

      The American Evaluation Association is a professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness. AEA has approximately 7100 members representing all 50 states in the United States as well as over 60 foreign countries.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: American Evaluation Association
  • Amortization

    • in accounting

      The paying off of debt with a fixed repayment schedule in regular installments over a period of time for example with a mortgage or a car loan. It also refers to the spreading out of capital expenses for intangible assets over a specific duration (usually over the asset’s useful life) for accounting and tax purposes

    Practice & Source: (1) Accounting: Investopedia
  • Analysis

    • in general

      Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
  • Anecdotal evidence

    • in Evaluating

      Non-systematic qualitative information based on stories about real events.

    • in general

      (of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: USAID Glossary of Evaluation Terms (2) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
  • Angel investor

    • in finance

      Angel investors invest in small startups or entrepreneurs. Often, angel investors are among an entrepreneur’s family and friends. The capital angel investors provide may be a one-time investment to help the business propel or an ongoing injection of money to support and carry the company through its difficult early stages.

    Practice & Source: (1) Finance/Impact investing: Investopedia
  • Appraisal

    • in Evaluating

      An overall assessment of the relevance, feasibility and potential sustainability of an intervention prior to a decision of funding. In development agencies, banks, etc., the purpose of appraisal is to enable decision-makers to decide whether the activity represents an appropriate use of corporate resources.

    • in business

      (a) Impartial analysis and evaluation conducted according to established criteria to determine the acceptability, merit, or worth of an item.
      (b) Evaluation by a qualified appraiser to (1) assess the current market value of a property, (2) estimate the extent of damage to an insured property and cost of repairs, or (3) determine if a total loss occurred. A written appraisal is usually a key requirement when a property is bought, sold, insured, or mortgaged. It is required also when a claim is filed for compensation for damage or destruction of the insured property.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (2) Business/CSR: BusinessDictionary.com
    COMMENTARY

    Appraisal can take place before implementation (e.g., appraisal of an intervention before resources are invested) or after (e.g., appraisal of an employee’s past performance). Objects of appraisal can be projects, people, companies, opportunities, and more.

  • Appreciation

    • in general

      a) Recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. b) A full understanding of a situation. c) Increase in monetary value.

    • in finance

      An increase in the value of an asset over time.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries (2) Finance / impact investing: Investopedia
  • Assessment

    • in general

      a) A judgment that you make about a person or situation after considering all the information; b) A calculation of how much something will cost to repair, how much something is worth, how much money someone should be given etc.

    • in evaluating

      A synonym for evaluation.

    Practice & Source: (1) Generic: Financial Times Lexicon (2) Evaluation: USAID Glossary of Evaluation Terms
    COMMENTARY

    Interventions and programs can also be assessed, as well as people and situations. While it can be used as a synonym for “evaluation”, the term “assessment” does not predetermine a particular level of rigor, effort, or timeframe, for making a judgment.

  • Asset owner(s)

    • No clear, authoritative definition. See commentary.

    Practice & Source: None
    COMMENTARY

    Asset owners receive the benefit of owning the asset which is under the person’s or entity’s name. Asset owners are often distinguished from asset managers who manage the asset on behalf of the owner and other types of investors such as lenders or bond holders.

  • Asset Class

    • in finance

      An asset class is a group of securities that exhibits similar characteristics, behaves similarly in the marketplace and is subject to the same laws and regulations. The three main asset classes are equities, or stocks; fixed income, or bonds; and cash equivalents, or money market instruments. Some investment professionals add real estate and commodities, and possibly other types of investments, to the asset class mix.

    Practice & Source: (1) Finance/Impact investing: Investopedia
  • Assumption(s)

    • in evaluating

      Hypotheses about factors or risks which could affect the progress or success of an intervention. Assumptions can also be understood as hypothesized conditions that bear on the validity of the evaluation itself, e.g., about the characteristics of the population when designing a sampling procedure for a survey. Assumptions are made explicit in theory based evaluations where valuation tracks systematically the anticipated results chain.

    • in general

      A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (2) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
  • Attribution

    • in evaluating

      The ascription of a causal link between observed (or expected to be observed) changes and a specific intervention.

    • in finance

      In fund management, attribution is the mathematical decomposition of an investment portfolio’s return compared to its benchmark. The difference between the portfolio return and the benchmark return is broken down, so as to identify where the positive or negative returns are achieved. These can be stated either as a relative or an absolute. Active fund managers typically like to identify the source of active returns that are derived from either portfolio selection choices or market timing. Attribution of these various returns at the fund manager level is done by decomposing returns against a benchmark into stock and sector returns, with an associated interaction effect.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (2) Finance / impact investing: Financial Times Lexicon
    COMMENTARY

    Attribution refers to the extent to which a specific intervention can be credited for any observed changes or results achieved after taking account of other interventions, confounding factors, or external shocks.

  • Audit

    • in evaluating

      An independent, objective assurance activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. It helps an organization accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to assess and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. A distinction is made between regularity (financial) auditing, which focuses on compliance with applicable statutes and regulations; and performance auditing, which is concerned with relevance, economy, efficiency and effectiveness. Internal auditing provides an assessment of internal controls undertaken by a unit reporting to management while external auditing is conducted by an independent organization.

    • in finance

      Formal examination of a company’s accounts by an independent expert, called an auditor, who checks that they are internally consistent, show a true picture of a company’s financial position and conform with the accounting principles governing the company’s legal jurisdiction or listing base

    • in general

      a) An official inspection of an organization’s accounts, typically by an independent body. b) A systematic review or assessment of something.

    Practice & Source: (1) Evaluation: DAC/OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (2) Finance / impact investing: Financial Times Lexicon (3) Generic: Oxford Living Dictionaries
    COMMENTARY

    An audit can be a financial audit, a performance audit, or a systematic review or assessment.