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Measure and Evaluate

Your goal has always been to have big impact. Design the ways that you’ll measure and grow it into your solution.



Suggested Time

Days to plan, months and years to execute

Level of Difficulty


Materials Needed

Pens, Post-its, paper, a computer and spreadsheet program


Design team, key partners, perhaps a Measurement and Evaluation team

Process Phase

Throughout the design process you’ve constantly been learning, evaluating, and improving your solution. And now that you’re on the verge of getting it out into the world you’ll need a plan to find out if you’re having the impact that you want. There are lots of ways to Measure and Evaluate your solution, the key is to understand what kind of M&E is right for you. Sometimes it’s easy, either your solution makes money or it doesn’t. But if you’re trying to change a community’s behavior or increase the adoption of a service, you may need a more nuanced approach. And it may take years to truly understand the impact of your solution. Here are a few things to think about as you strategize.


  1. The first thing you’ll want to determine is why you need to Measure and Evaluate your work? Is it to demonstrate impact, to get more funding, to improve business practices, or to generate more revenue?
  2. Be sure to bring key partners and stakeholders into this conversation. They may have been Measuring and Evaluating your topic area for years and can provide key insight.
  3. Assess whether your team is the best suited to Measure and Evaluate your work. You may need to hire an outside team or consultants to help you.
  4. A common method for assessing impact is a randomized control trial (RCT). They are highly rigorous, but are also very expensive and can take years. You’ll also be limited in iterating on your solution during an RCT because it may disrupt the test. Dynamic measurement tools (like number of visits or sales numbers) may be more useful for you.
  5. Try to find a balance between quantitative and qualitative measurements. Stories from partner organizations and the people that you’re designing for can be very powerful, especially if your solution doesn’t lend itself to capturing hard numbers.
  6. Take a prototyping attitude to your measurement. You can always tweak your business model based on the information coming in to maximize your impact.