Social Indicators

In results-oriented approaches to planning, management, monitoring, and evaluation, measurable results are often required. For this purpose, the planning stage already includes the design of indicators through which one expects to achieve quantitative and qualitative measurements. This, however, is relatively difficult: the indicators are often not specific or relevant enough, the implementation of metrical measurements can be hard or time-consuming, and the measurement of the effects upon the target groups – and, more so, of the changes in attitudes and behavior – seem hardly feasible.

Impact Plus has different approaches in order to obtain adequate solutions:

  • To the extent that it is possible, the target groups themselves are involved in the design of indicators. The use of Participatory Impact Monitoring (PIM) and NGO-IDEAs allows for the development of indicators that both the target group and external actors can measure and adjust.
  • In addition to each quantified indicator, Impact Plus develops “exploratory questions” for each observation field with the help of the participants. These are open questions that can be asked on a regular basis in order to identify changes that are not foreseen by the system of indicators.
  • Along with the indicators, further differentiated questions related to causality are asked, e.g., what led to these changes? What obstructed these changes?

A form for the definition of indicators serves to document questions regarding aspects such as the measurement units to be used, the kinds of differentiation in the collection and analysis that must be carried out, the forms for collection and documentation to be applied, or the ways in which these must be integrated into the reporting system, among others.