By Faisal Awartani (Ph.D.)
Chairman at Insights for Research, Polling and Training.
When choosing indicators for monitoring and evaluation purposes, the following characteristics are recommended to be considered during indicators development or selection:
a) The indicator should be valid. It’s supposed to measure the concept of interest.
b) The indicator should be reliable. That is when measured or collected by different persons or data collectors, it should produce similar results. In other words, the design of such indicators should contribute to reducing measurement error. Since measurement error has various sources, one of which is the design of the indicator.
c) Sensitivity to interventions by development projects. This idea is of at most importance, since if the indicator needs a higher dosage of intervention to achieve a practically significant shift during the project life cycle, then it will be pointless to consider such indictor in the monitoring and evaluation guide. Hence, the M&E team should think of indicators that could be reponsive to interventions during the life-time of the project and not after that.
d) Timeliness, Precision and Cost. These three features are inter-related, since precision of the indicator depends on two types of error which are sampling error and measurement error. It’s always recommended to design research to produce monitoring and evaluation indicators as precise as possible. Moreover, the management team would like the indicator to be measured with a reasonable cost. On the other hand, the management would like to get the indicator values as frequently as possible to inform project leadership and adjust interventions accordingly. But also the frequency of measurement need to take into consideration the budget limitation.
The research team at Insights for Research, Polling and Training is experienced in designing monitoring and evaluation indicators that achieve balance between management needs for accurate indictors and budget limitations.