You are here


The term "development" is used in these Guidelines quite broadly: the option was taken not to attempt a formal definition, feeling that the understanding of the text or of its intentions would not suffer from the lack of such a definition.

There actually can be a number of definitions, overlapping each other to a certain extent, yet different. During the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences Meeting on “Evaluation of Development Research” in 2009, this issue was raised by various speakers (S.N. Balangadhara ;François Muhashy Habiyaremye) as well as during the closing Round Table.

Basically any definition of development should cover the reduction of poverty and of inequalities; the increased role of women; education; health; opportunities for young people; human rights; respect for the environment; etc. It is up to each stakeholder (researcher, evaluator, sponsor, author of a specific guide) to use the definition that best fits his/her needs at the time he/she uses it, provided the concept is the one used locally,  is easily understandable, and  is immediately acceptable to the various actors in development.

It is important that the authors of any specific guide would ensure consistency with the way they use the terms development and development research.

See also the annexes on relevance to development and impact.