Charting Success

Video length: 37:54

Presenter: Karen Austrian, Associate, Population Council

Presentation: Charting Success

Charting Success Girl Level Indicators Questions
Charting Success M&E Worksheet


This workshop explains how we define success for girls participating in Population Council programs, how this success is measured, and the tools needed to track success. A combination of lecture and small-group (or individual) work explains how to build a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan. The video highlights how we can use M&E to understand what our programs are doing, the characteristics of the girls who are participating, and the outcomes for girls who participate in programs. Worksheets are provided for the exercises conducted during the lecture; print the worksheets before beginning the video.

Key Points

1) We should monitor to understand who we are reaching and what we are doing.

  • Tools include an intake register and meeting/activity log.
  • Tools can provide insights only if they are usable. Thus, keep them brief and focus on only the most pertinent information.
  • Monitoring is an ongoing process that needs to be tracked as the program unfolds.

2) To measure impact, we need to understand our long-term goals (e.g. reducing teenage pregnancy) and the outcomes or effects we want to achieve (e.g. increased use of contraception, increased knowledge of contraceptive methods). We need to track the short-term and long-term progress, referred to as the program outcomes. This progress can be thought of as assets that you want to impart to the girls. Four categories of assets at the girl level are discussed. Determining what assets correspond to your program’s goals will help you to build the key components of your program and the building blocks of your M&E plan:

  • Basic: Demographic information, major life events, etc.
  • Social: Social networks, group membership, etc.
  • Health: Skills and knowledge of health issues, access to health services, etc.
  • Financial: Financial goals, knowledge of budgeting, etc.

3) We should use both quantitative and qualitative data to understand program success:

  • Quantitative data: Good for the description/overall picture; Surveys/questionnaires, pre & post tests
  • Qualitative data: Formative and evaluation helps answer the “why”; in-depth interviews and focus group discussions

4) Make a M&E plan:

  • Be realistic about how long it will take
  • Keep it short and simple
  • Focus on intermediate results

Additional Resources