Once you have established a clear purpose and indicators for your monitoring and evaluation plan you will need to decide on methods of data collection. The data collection methods used will depend on the type of data, the participants involved and the skills and resources of the staff undertaking the evaluation. Interpreting data also requires having time and technical skills to pull different data types and sources together and formulate key findings.

This section outlines key data collection methods that may be useful. In simple terms, data boils down to two things - quantitative and qualitative data. These will make up all of the data that will ever be collected and analysed.

All monitoring and evaluation should include a mix of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Tips in data collection phase

  • Collect observational data as you go. Sometimes significant change takes place in the space of a moment when a penny drops. Make time to record your observations in a private journal.

  • Indicators always set the best methods for data collection for your project. Survey's are not always the best method for data collection. See our Survey section for more information.

  • It is good to have formal beginning and end points so that participants are clear on timelines and the level of involvement required.