How to do a Quantitative Evaluation
A Quantitative Evaluation
The quantitative evaluation is not very different from planning a qualitative evaluation – see Step by Step guide to Impact Evaluation lesson in the Basics of MEL course Step-by-step guide to Impact Evaluation
- Decide the key impacts or outcomes you want to assess- the ones important for the project/ participants and donors. They may be the outcomes related to the objectives of the project and will be driven by the Theory of Change. (see course on Theory of Change)
- Decide on Indicators to use, if you are able to include recognised indicators, or you develop your own. See resources on Indicators
- For a quantitative assessment it will be good if possible to collect data that can be reported as a recognised indicator (see section on indicators)
- A baseline assessment if possible so you can tell the difference over time. If the project has already started, a new group or village joining the project can act as baseline
- For a quantitative assessment it is more difficult to ask people to remember numbers from the past. It is better to just ask about numbers from the present time. For example, when carrying out a dietary assessment, we tend to only ask people to remember what they ate the previous day rather than compare with some time in the past.
- A comparison group if possible – ie those with and without the project activities
- This might be also talking to people who did not take part in the project. Ideally a comparison community.
- A representative sample of people or farms etc – do not go for the easiest to approach group or the nearest village or the most enthusiastic participants.
- See lesson on sampling.
- Seasonal considerations are important so you measure the same thing at the same time of year (e.g. harvest data, consumption of foods)
- Decide who to interview based on the knowledge they have on the subject
- Work out a sample size and sampling plan
- See lesson on sampling
- Decide how to analyse and report the data
- See lesson on analysis and reporting
- Make sure there is a plan to ensure that recommendations are implemented
- Recommendations for the project will emerge from the answers to your questions. Make sure these are written out clearly and each one directed to whoever is responsible for implementing the change.
- A sharing plan so others can benefit (Community, Project staff, Funders, Research community)
- A report of your findings and recommendations can be drawn up and shared with interested parties. Depending who it is this could be shared in a meeting or a written report – or even a whatsapp message if that is appropriate.