Step 4: Collect data

The data necessary for the outcome and impact assessment should be collected before or during the project implementation. If this is not planned, then any reliable assertions about the effect will only be partly possible. Later data collection requires a great deal of effort and might not be possible at all. Therefore the collection of effect indicators is ideally included in the monitoring system. Depending on the planning, the requisite data is collected once or twice over the course of the project, sometimes more often, e.g. on a quarterly basis.

How it is done
Activities
The implementation of activities is supervised as part of monitoring. The data required for the outcome and impact assessment is collected, checked and recorded at the same time.
Questions Coming up with answers to the following questions can form the fourth step in an impact assessment:
  • Are activities that are crucial for the project's effects controlled through monitoring?
  • Is data relevant for the impact assessment collected in the process?
  • Are responsibilities and interfaces for the collection of data clear?
  • Does the collected data deliver the desired information? 
  • Is there any deviation that might jeopardise the achievement of results?
  • Which corrective or enforcing measures are necessary?
Results
  • The necessary data is collected, checked and recorded.
  • Interim analyses are carried out. 
  • Where necessary, corrective measures are taken.

IMPORTANT

Properly functioning monitoring requires responsibility to be taken. The person in charge must supervise the collection and analysis of the data on an ongoing basis. If the project managers do not collect the data themselves, they must ensure that the people in charge of collecting the data know for what purpose the data is being collected. Experience shows that this increases their willingness to record the necessary data accurately and reliably.

N.B.

It is not sufficient to record deliverables at the output level to judge a measure’s outcome and impact. An inventory of services rendered is however a condition for being able to measure the effects at a later stage.