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Glossary and Impact Assessment Terminology


Adivasi An umbrella term for a heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups claimed to be the aboriginal population of India.
Char area Emergent land from the river sediment deposit/accretion process.
Dowry The money, goods or property brought by a bride to her husband at marriage.
Gher Enclosure for combined production of vegetables, rice, fish and prawns made by modifying rice fields by building higher dykes around the field and excavating a canal several feet deep inside the periphery of the dykes to retain water during the dry season.
Madrasa School of religious education attached to a Mosque.
Purdah Muslim rules for female seclusion/women’s restricted mobility.
Union Sub-Upazila administrative unit.
Union Parishad    Local government body.
Upazila Sub-district administrative unit, formerly known as Thana.

Impact Assessment Terminology

  • Attribution: an assessment of the degree to which impacts can be linked back to the outputs delivered by, and ’credited’ to, the interventions. At the impact level, attribution is generally accepted to be at the level of some contribution of outcomes in combination with many other important factors.
  • Average Treatment Effect: the average treatment effect is an econometric method for statistically testing the effect of a particular intervention.
  • The control group: households/individuals who have NOT been participating in the activities themselves, and do not live inside the support area, but who, prior to the intervention, possessed similar observable characteristics as the participants.
  • Propensity Score Matching: mathematical technique used to select members of the control group that share characteristics with members of the participants’ group, through estimation of a statistical model based on matching characteristics (household characteristics).
  • Double Difference measurement: the double difference measures the difference in the observed change between participating households/individuals and control village households/individuals, based on baseline (recall) data and ex-post data. Thus the double difference eliminates external determinants of the outcome, in cases where these are the same for the two groups during the intervention period. The double difference approach assumes common time effects across groups and no composition changes within each group.
  • Selection bias: selection bias is introduced from the way beneficiaries have been selected for participating in the interventions. When beneficiaries are not randomly selected, but some kind of selection process has taken place, then the control group should not be randomly selected, but drawn from a population with same characteristics as the participant group using the same selection criteria.
  • Statistical significance: in statistics, a result is called statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. In this analysis, the significance level is used to measure the statistical strength of a data finding. The significance level is, in this case, the risk of concluding a data relationship that may not exist. Frequent levels of significance used for statistical testing are 10%, 5% and 1%. If a significance test gives a value lower than the test levels, the null hypothesis (a hypothesis that an observed difference between two data sets is random/due to chance) is rejected. Such results are referred to as being ’statistically significant’. For example, in this report, if an observed difference between data from participating households and control village households is found to be significant at the 10% level, it means that the null hypothesis (that the observed difference is by chance/random) can be rejected with 90% certainty. The lower the significance level is, the stronger the certainty that the null hypothesis can be rejected. Cases with relatively few observations (data) and large variation, increase the uncertainty and make it more difficult to reject the null hypothesis.

This page forms part of the publication 'Evaluation of the Farmer Field School Approach in the Agriculture Sector Programme Support Phase II, Bangladesh' as chapter 2 of 14
Version 1.0. 22-12-2011
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