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5 ways to measure qualitative results

Measuring results is important, but not every result can be counted, tracked and fit neatly into an M&E framework. Some results are intangible – things like “empowerment”, “confidence” or “improved capacity”. Just because these things are difficult to count that doesn’t mean you can’t measure them. You just need to measure ... Read More »

Free EdX course The Challenges of Global Poverty starts 5 Feb 2014

Challenges of Global Poverty on EdX

Just an announcement that the free EdX course The Challenges of Global Poverty is being run again from 5 February 2014 and is highly recommended for International Development / Global Aid professionals. Delivered by two of the top thinkers in international development economics, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, this ... Read More »

Three questions to ask before organising a capacity building workshop

In my opinion, capacity building workshops are one of the most overused activities in international development / aid programs today. Normally involving the words “strengthening”, “sustainable” or “empowerment”, these events have the potential to waste large amounts of money and achieve relatively little. That’s not to say workshops are completely useless, ... Read More »

Should I use interviews or focus groups?

Deciding whether to use interviews or focus groups for collecting qualitative data is an age old question that plagues every international development / aid worker at some point in their career. Some experts think interviews are better, some think focus groups are better, while others say it depends on the situation. ... Read More »

Does my study need ethics committee approval?

International development / aid workers are often faced with a dilemma when evaluating the results of their program. They need to do a survey, or some interviews, or even a randomised trial, but they’re not sure if they need approval from an ethics committee before doing it. I’ve encountered some ... Read More »

Where does the money come from?

One of the first things I do when starting a new project is to ask the team a very important question: “Where does the money for this project come from?” I usually get a range of surprised looks. Surely I must know that the money comes from “donor X”. “Yes, ... Read More »

Online-based survey software… 5 pointers to look out for

Surveys are a pretty common activity in international development programs. It is becoming increasingly easy to undertake online-based surveys (as opposed to paper-based), and there are definitely some benefits to be recognised. It used to be that undertaking online-based surveys was a major production, requiring co-opting a web nerd in ... Read More »

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