Dk impactmethods defineyourindicators transparent

Define Your Indicators

Indicators define the type of data we will collect to understand our impact over time.

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Stats

Suggested Time

90 Minutes

Level of Difficulty

Hard

Materials Needed

Pens, paper, Logic Model

Participants

Design team, M&E Specialist


Process Phase

In order to understand an intervention’s effectiveness you must measure progress over time. Indicators define the data points that you will track, and they may be quantitative or qualitative depending on what you’re trying to measure. You will need a mix of indicators that measure both how your intervention is being implemented as well as the progress being made in achieving short, medium and long-term outcomes. Here are some tips for defining meaningful, and measurable, indicators for your solution.

Steps

  1. The Logic Model that you developed earlier will be a valuable tool for you now, as it’s essentially a blueprint from which to define indicators. Ask yourself, what is it that we need to learn or prove about this solution? This should inform what you decide to measure.
  2. The first set of indicators that you will define are  Process Indicators , which help to answer the question “Is my solution being implemented as planned?” These indicators will be measures of things that sit at the Input and Output level of your Logic Model, such as resources, activities, and user uptake. Make a list of the inputs and outputs that you want to track.
  3. The second set of indicators are  Outcome Indicators , which help to answer the question “Is my solution achieving its goals?” These indicators will be measures of things that sit at the Outcome level of your Logic Model, such as shifts in knowledge or behaviours. Make a list of the outcomes that you want to track.
  4. Now it’s time to get more precise. Use the Indicators Mad Libs worksheet to structure specific, measurable and time-bound indicators for your inputs, outputs and outcomes. Consider what you can actually track— qualitative stories from the people that you’re designing for can be very powerful, especially where it’s not possible or appropriate to capture hard numbers.
  5. Go through your mad libs and prioritize a manageable set. Make sure it includes indicators for any targets your funder requires you to report to. Fill these into your Monitor and Evaluate activity and continue with the next stage of your measurement plan.