Concept of the NGO-IDEAs Toolbox


NGO-IDEAs aims at:

  • Empowering community based organisations (CBOs) and the poor among the rural communities to use impact monitoring for project management; and thus contributing to the sustainability of their project activities
  • Empowering NGOs to further improve the effectiveness, impact and sustainability of their efforts by identifying best tools for impact Monitoring & Evaluation and best practices in the area of Savings & Credit
  • Making social changes more visible in implementing and funding NGOs thus improving the development policy work
  • Improving public recognition of NGOs and CBOs and their contribution to development.





Participatory Well-being Ranking is a familiar tool taken from the Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) context. This is already being used by a large number of NGOs. We have modified it slightly to Differentiated Analysis of Well-being (DAW). DAW clusters households according to well-being criteria which are identified by the CBO. It serves the purpose of poverty-oriented target group selection and assignment of impacts according to well-being or poverty criteria. With DAW, outcomes and impacts can be differentiated by more criteria such as gender, education, social status - whatever may be important for an organisation or a project.


CC establishes changes in groups. This tool is used to assess the performance of a CBO. In CC, the NGO and the group agree on the criteria that the group's quality as a whole can be measured with, and hence how it changes as an outcome or impact of the CBO members' self-help activities or of the NGO's services.


IC as a tool establishes changes among individuals and households. This tool sets an assumption that the people in the target group create their own vision of their future living conditions. The aim is to establish to what extent each member or each household has developed towards these targets as an outcome or impact of the CBO members' self-help activities or of the NGO's services.


ARC serves an in-depth analysis of impacts. ARC is the impact-analysis tool of the NGOs. It sets out from the methods of self-assessment of changes among individuals / households and in the group (IC and CC), elaborating their results with the support of a number of additional elements used at different levels of DAW, CC, IC. Here the NGOs can cull out the inferences from all the tools administered and attempt to analyse the causal links with reference to the areas where it intends to promote change.



Tiny Tools


NGO-IDEAs Tiny Tools for Impact Assessment

Communities know a lot about the impact of development projects. They know much about how they made use of the projects, what changed and why it changed. Sometimes they find it difficult to express it. Sometimes they are tempted to tell outsiders what they think the outsider wants to hear. So we need to start a process in which community members find it interesting and beneficial to reflect on the change themselves in a systematic way, and be open and self-critical about it. When community members do this, they generate relevant and valid information. At the same time they become empowered to take more control of their realities.

The NGO-IDEAs Tiny Tools are a relatively simple and quick ("tiny") way to achieve this. All the tools are structured and systematic, and they are widely tested: Experience shows that these tools lead to new insights, mobilise enthusiasm and increase the capacity of communities to bring about further change. The Tiny Tools therefore are in line with the Participatory Rural Appraisal approach. NGO-IDEAs provides an overview over a number of Tiny Tools and a few practical step-by-step guides.


Activity List

With Activity List a community compares the significance and effectiveness of different activities or projects. Community members list all project activities and sponsors as well as the population benefiting from the activities. They evaluate the importance of each activity concerning the quality of life of the members and discuss the capacities and resources needed for the implementation and maintenance of each of the activities.

Guide Activity List (4 pages, 270 KB)


Trend Analysis

Trend Analysis is used to gain a differentiated understanding of changes over a period of time. Members of a community or organisation select criteria on social development, or the quality of life. They analyse the development of their community or organisation regarding each criterion to see when their life improved and when it became worse.

Guide Trend Analysis (4 pages, 250 KB)


Influence Matrix

The influence matrix looks both at the change, and at the causes for change. The strength of the influence of every project output (or external contribution) on each aspect of the quality of live is visualised and evaluated.

Guide Influence Matrix (4 pages, 190 KB)



Integration of NGO-IDEAs

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The NGO-IDEAs Toolbox for Participatory Monitoring of Outcomes and Impacts

The key features of the NGO-IDEAs "Toolbox":

  • The Toolbox offers a combination of a small number of tools that are attuned to one another. They form a methodical whole but may also be applied individually to reduce complexity, if required.
  • The Toolbox is based on tools that many NGOs are well familiar with, and use. This enables community based organisations (CBOs) to use them independently without major consultancy effort.
  • The indicators for social change may be represented quantitatively. While this facilitates the aggregation of data, the survey results can also easily be disaggregated if required. For example, differentiation of impacts is not only possible according to sex, but also according to poverty groups or other social criteria that we wanted to look into.
  • These tools encourage awareness creation and reflection of self-effectivenesss, and demand steering decisions based on the continuous establishment of impacts. They can also be used in reporting, as need arises.

The NGO-IDEAs "Toolbox" (105 p.) comprises four tools: DAW, CC, IC and ARC. The unique feature of this tool is prevalence of an organic link with and between all the other tools.


Changes that impact - A methodological toolkit for Empowerment and Monitoring


This publication (77 p.) is a short version of the Toolbox, adressing to CBO leaders or NGO technicians. It has a stronger emphasis on empowerment, focuses the DAW, CC, and IC tools and does not explain the differentiated possibilities of analysis of the ARC tool (ANALYSIS AND REFLECTION ABOUT CHANGES).


Tutorial Videos

There are four tutorial videos about the "NGO-IDEAs Toolbox for Participatory Monitoring of Outcomes and Impacts"; one video for each tool.
If the English subtitles do not appear: switch on the subtitles at the bottom of the Youtube window.


How to explore characteristics and differences in the community?
How to identify changes in the situation of community members?
(Duration: 7 min.)


How to identify collective objetives in the community?
(Duration: 5 min.)


How to identify people's objectives for individual change?
(Duration: 6 min.)


How to deepen the analysis of outcomes and impacts of the project and of people's own efforts?
(Duration: 4 min.)




Project Coordinators:

Eberhard Gohl: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Bernward Causemann: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Coordinator for Germany:

Christiane Mohr, KNH: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!


Regional Coordinator for Central America:

Dagny Skarwan: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!

Regional Coordinator for South America:

Rosa Mendoza: Diese E-Mail-Adresse ist vor Spambots geschützt! Zur Anzeige muss JavaScript eingeschaltet sein!