During a recent management workshop, the vexed question of how best to evaluate development initiatives and interventions arose. This reminded me of the comments made by a spokesman for the UK's Ministry of Defence, during an international conflict that took place a few years back. He stated that the MoD evaluated the effectiveness of their aerial attacks by asking three questions:
Did the missile hit the intended target?
Did the damage caused by the attack materially reduce the enemy's functionality?
Were the combined effects of the various strikes advancing the overall aims and objectives of the war?
These criteria provide a useful metaphor for assessing the validity and effectiveness of targeted initiatives in other areas, not least organisations.