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Author Archives: Piroska Bisits Bullen

Piroska has worked on a range of international development programs involving local NGOs, international NGOs, UN agencies and government. She holds a Ph.D. in public health, has published articles in several journals, and was a speaker at TEDx Phnom Penh. Piroska is passionate about using scientific evidence and creativity to design programs that work.

Budget template

All international development programs should have a budget. Donors almost always require a detailed budget to be submitted before they fund a project. Budgets are also necessary to ensure that expenses can be anticipated ahead of time. For large programs there may be an overall budget as well as multiple ... Read More »

Strategic plan template

Strategic planning is the process of defining an organisation’s direction – where the organisation is going and how it’s going to get there. Most organisations conduct strategic planning every 3-5 years. There are lots of different ways to do a strategic plan, and lots of different structures for the final ... Read More »

How to design a new program

Designing a new program can be both challenging and rewarding. Challenging because it’s difficult to know if you’ve designed it the right way. Rewarding if your program ends up working (or discouraging if it ends up not working!). There are plenty of manuals on how to design programs, like these ... 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 »

The Parenting Map for monitoring orphans and vulnerable children

Working with orphans and vulnerable children can be extremely challenging in developing countries. There are usually only a small number of staff available to monitor the children’s well-being, and often those staff have limited training and experience. As a result, many programs deliver a standard set of interventions for every ... Read More »

The Batteries Methodology for measuring quality of life

Improving people’s quality of life is the ultimate goal for many international development programs, even though it might not be stated as such. Having a high quality of life just means having a full and happy life. For example, programs to increase people’s income or health only do this so those ... Read More »

How to pretest and pilot a survey questionnaire

It’s important to test your survey questionnaire before using it to collect data. Pretesting and piloting can help you identify questions that don’t make sense to participants, or problems with the questionnaire that might lead to biased answers. This guide explains how to conduct basic pretesting and piloting for a ... Read More »

How to write awesome survey questions – Part 2

Once you’ve written some good survey questions following the tips in Part 1, the next step is to write good answers for people to choose from.  This guide provides tips on how to create the three most common types of  survey answers – numerical, multiple choice and scales – in ... Read More »

How to write awesome survey questions – Part 1

Most international development programs involve one or more surveys – whether it’s baseline surveys, endline surveys, needs assessment surveys, or feedback forms from participants. This guide explains how to write clear, concise survey questions that will collect accurate data.  The inspiration for many of these tips comes from The Survey Research Handbook by Pamela Alreck and Robert Settle. ... Read More »

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework template

Note: An M&E framework can also be called an evaluation matrix. As with most things in international development, there is no standard definition of a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework, or how it differs from an M&E plan. For many organisations, an M&E framework is a table that describes the indicators ... Read More »

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