The importance of quantifying the economic returns to investments in aquatic resources research together with the social, environmental and institutional impacts of such investments is widely recognized among ICLARM's donors, trustees and beneficiaries. As with other Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers, ICLARM is being asked to provide specific accounts of the outputs of its research and their impact on farms and on fisheries, including their socioeconomic impact. Such impact information has become a necessary, though not sufficient, basis for setting priorities and allocating resources for research for the CGIAR centers. This paper discusses the types and methods of impact assessment relevant to ICLARM's work. A three-pronged assessment approach is envisaged to capture the full range of impacts: 1) ex ante assessment for research priority setting; 2) assessment prior to dissemination or adoption along with monitoring and evaluation; and 3) ex post impact assessment. It also discusses the objectives and scope for operational impact assessment of ICLARM's research.