An indicator is a “quantitative or qualitative factor or variable that provides a simple and reliable means to measure achievement, to reflect the changes connected to an intervention, or to help assess the performance of a development actor” (OECD-DAC, 2002). In simpler terms, an indicator is a pointer that shows, or points to, information needed for monitoring and evaluation.
Practical Tips: It is generally recommended to design indicators that are SMART – i.e. specific, measurable, appropriate, realistic and time-bound. To attain basic standards of scientific rigor, it is recommended to use the additional criteria outlined below:
Effective indicators in data collection are…
To identify appropriate indicators, a) reflect on how the campaign is to bring about change (i.e. its activities as set in the strategy) and then b) decide what changes – via new activities, outputs, outcomes or impact – are expected to be brought about, c) who will be responsible, and d) when and where actions and changes are expected to occur. Then, determine valid, reliable, specific, sensitive and operational ways of observing these actions and changes.