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Monitor and Evaluate

Your goal has always been to have big impact. Smart measurement will help you get there faster.

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Stats

Suggested Time

Days to plan, months and years to execute

Level of Difficulty

Hard

Materials Needed

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

Participants

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


Process Phase

Now that you’re on the verge of getting your solution out into the world you’ll need a dedicated plan for tracking effectiveness. There are lots of ways to Monitor and Evaluate (M&E) your solution, the key is to understand what measurement 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. For this reason measurement is an area where you’ll benefit from having specialized team members to support. These are a few things to consider in your planning.

Steps

  1. Start by thinking about what data you really need for the stage of implementation you are in right now. During Live Prototyping you might want data to learn more about what works and continue to iterate but in a larger Pilot you might need more rigorous evidence to secure funding for scale. Be sure to bring key partners and stakeholders into this conversation. They will have perspectives and expertise that can shape a great M&E plan.
  2. Now that you have your objectives clear you’re ready to develop your ideal set of measures using the Define Your Indicators activity. Try to find a balance between quantitative and qualitative measures of effectiveness. While quantitative metrics will enable you to track how you’re doing against targets, qualitative feedback from users can offer much richer insights into how and why your solution is working or not working.
  3. Fill your indicators into the M&E Framework worksheet, and work through the columns to determine how your data will be collected and used later. You might find that you need to adjust some indicators based on what data you can feasibly collect. Remember too that outcomes can take time, so set realistic timelines for when certain results can practically be observed.
  4. Now is a good time to assess too whether your team is the best suited to lead the M&E in practice. You may need to hire a more specialized team to run more advanced measurement approaches, such as surveys or experiments.
  5. Update and refine your M&E Framework as you iterate upon your solution or data and evidence needs change.