Building a M&E Plan

When building your M&E plan, refer back to your program goals to clarify what program outputs and outcomes you want to measure. Once you have identified what data to collect, design data collection tools that can be embedded into your program.

Identify what data to collect

Break down your long term goals and SMART objectives to identify what data you need to collect in order to measure progress towards goal. Consider:

  • What data will you collect to record the output of your program?
  • What data will you collect to understand the anticipated vs. actual outcome of your program? What baseline and post-program data is needed to compare the difference before and after implementation?  
Examples of indicators
Output # of Know Your Rights workshops conducted
Output # of people reached
Outcome % of clients who demonstrate an increase in knowledge on employment law
Outcome % of work permit applications made that are successful
Outcome % of participants that have an improved employment or self-employment status 3 months after training completion

For employee participants, you may track client changes before and after the program by designing a spectrum illustrating different employment statuses. This can be used to measure whether their employment status has improved as a result of the program.

  • No Job
  • Temporary, irregular/seasonal
  • Regular part‐time employment
  • Full‐time employment
  • Full time employment; saving a portion of earnings

For business owner participants, you may establish indicators that can help you track any visible improvements in measuring improvements in livelihood opportunities. e.g. started business, legalized business, increase in monthly profit, successfully expanded business (increased number of customers and/or employees).

Design data collection tools

After deciding on what data you want to collect to measure progress and success, design how you will collect this data. Identify your sample size and population (e.g. gender, literacy levels). Reduce bias in your data collection approach. Test your tools and make changes if necessary.

In your baseline survey, consider what types of questions are appropriate depending on context. For example, in countries where there are limited work rights for refugees, do not create false expectations of what your livelihood program is able to achieve.

Examples of data collection tools:

Program activity: provide work-rights related individualized legal services to support refugees in accessing safe and lawful employment.

SMART Objectives Data collection tool
160 refugees reached through work-rights related individualized legal services, at least 50% of which are women. Collect and store client and case details in database, including gender, nationality, and case types for trend analysis
At least 90% of clients express satisfaction, a sense of empowerment and knowledge gained through our individualized legal services. Conduct (i) reflection session at the end of the workshop, and/or (ii) workshop feedback form  
90% of work permit applications made are successful. Track and store case outcomes in database, including gender, nationality, and case types for trend analysis
80% of non-formal dispute resolution with employers are successful. Track and store case outcomes in database, including gender, nationality, and case types for trend analysis

Program activity: Conduct Know Your Rights information sessions to provide information on refugee employment laws and policies, and how to protect themselves as business owners and employees.

SMART Objectives Data collection tool
160 refugees reached through KYR sessions, at least 50% are women. Workshop attendance form
90% of participants demonstrate an increased understanding on refugee employment law and protection through in-training feedback and feedback surveys. Conduct reflection session at the end of the workshop, and/or pre/post workshop survey
After 3 months, at least 60% have taken action to improve their livelihoods strategy using the information gained in KYR. Interview or focus group


Program activity: Based on client interest and market gaps, provide vocational training to refugees and nationals to improve livelihood opportunities.

SMART Objectives Data collection tool
160 refugees reached through vocational training, at least 50% are women. Collect and store client and case details in database.
At least 90% of program participants express that the training was useful and relevant. Evaluation form, phone call or monitoring visit.
80% of participants’ employment or self-employment status have improved within 3 months after training completion. (i) Collect baseline data before the program using socio-economic screening form

(ii) Collect post-program evaluation 3 and/or 6 months after training completion. This includes a focus group followed by an individual survey.