Tools and processes to plan for long-term impacts in our current work

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Back to the future: planning for long term impacts part three. 

In this third of four blogs on lasting changes, we discuss what we can do now to better embed “long term” thinking in our current work. We present a “durability action template” to reflect on what to expect five years after a project ends in terms of interventions themselves, their impacts, and replication. We also analyse risks and mitigation measures.

Analysing aspects of durability in a series of international workshops helped us understand critical factors that need to be taken into account throughout the project cycle. But to reflect on what can be done during project implementation to plan for the long-term we dived into specific, current, interventions that we expect to be either sustained in communities or scaled-up.

We first defined our vision for specific interventions: How do we expect the selected intervention to look in 5 years’ time in terms of its evolution in time, its expected impacts and its expected replication? 

This allowed us to define suitable indicators for these three aspects, and to summarize our vision in a “durability statement”.

The next step was to identify assumptions and risks to achieve this vision, rated in terms of likelihood and severity. We then identified a series of actions to monitor and mitigate risks.

Finally, we discussed how we could gather long term evidence.

Durability action template: clarifying vision and risks in the long term

Here is a simplified example of a “Durability action template” for a “bio-dyke” to reduce flood impact, inspired by our work in poor communities in Nepal and Peru:

For more ideas and tools to embed durability in your work and to conduct post-project evaluations, check the Valuing Voices’ website.  

This is the third in a series of four blogs where you can deep dive into the topic of long term impacts, the other three include: 

If you’re interested to learn more or discuss the topics raised in this blog you can contact the author at

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *