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Monitoring & Evaluation

Monitoring visit report template

The purpose of a monitoring visit (sometimes called a supervision visit or a field visit) is to make sure that project activities are implemented the way they are described in the plan. It normally involves meeting with the people running the project, meeting with the participants, and observing the activities. At ... Read More »

How to use root cause analysis to fix problems

All aid projects face problems at one stage or another. It could be that an employee stole money from the project, or that an activity kept running for years even though it was ineffective. It can be tempting to put these problems down to individual people. The employee was unethical, ... Read More »

How to (try to) stop fraud on your project

Fraud and corruption in international development projects are often cited as a reason to stop giving aid. The UNDP broadly defines fraud as any act (or omission) to obtain a financial or other benefit or to avoid an obligation. This differs slightly from corrupt practices, which the UNDP understands to ... 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 »

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan template

A monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan describes how the whole M&E system for the program works. This includes the indicators, who is responsible for collecting them, what forms and tools will be used, and how the data will flow through the organisation. You can think of an M&E plan as ... Read More »

Using Tableau Public to visualise data

Africa Map - Internet Users

Download Tableau Public Do you ever wish you could send your donor a cool interactive map showing the results of your project, rather than just a boring report or PowerPoint presentation? Well, now you can. Tableau Public is a free tool that allows anyone to create interactive charts and maps ... Read More »

Simple, quick and easy – Tiny Tools for impact assessment

Download Tiny Tools Many international development / aid programs try to directly improve people’s lives through activities such as building boreholes, running agricultural training programs, or setting up youth programs. When evaluating these types of programs it can be difficult to know if community members really believe that their situation ... Read More »

How to choose a sample size (for the statistically challenged)

One of the most common questions I get asked by people doing surveys in international development is “how big should my sample size be?”. While there are many sample size calculators and statistical guides available, those who never did statistics at university (or have forgotten it all) may find them intimidating or ... Read More »

How to use technology to monitor field activities

While it might seem surprising to people outside the field of international development / global aid, one big challenge in any international development program is making sure that activities actually get implemented in the first place (and in the manner they were designed). Community health workers, teachers, peer educators and ... Read More »

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