Quick appraisal/ Self-evaluation (NGOs)

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Many NGOs and volunteer organisations may not have the time, resources or confidence to engage in a metrics or theory-based approach to evaluation. Even if you do, you are unlikely to wish to try to monitor or evaluate all your projects or programmes.

As such, sometimes it is useful to identify some quick appraisal methods that give you a rough idea of how your organisation is performing and which help you to confirm that you are not doing any harm.

While such techniques do not carry the same weight with donors as independent, formal evaluations, they are likely to be welcomed as they show a readiness to think ‘evaluatively’ and take the first important step down the road towards M&E.

The Quick 1-2-3 Method for NGOs is set out below:

NGO Evaluation
Step 1:
Develop framework
Monitoring & Evaluation Framework
Step 2:
Quick Data Collection & Analysis
Collect data using, for example, one of the techniques below:

Most Significant Change (streamlined)
Straw Poll
Mood box / Pebbles in the box
– Technology-led methods (e.g. metimeter)
Appreciation Line
Graffiti wall
Time diagram
Pre- and post quizzes
Some less common qualitative techniques
Step 3:
Quick Data Checking
Check data using, for example, one of the techniques below:

Snapshot interviews
Short participant observation
Short key informant interview
Mini surveys
Small focus groups

As can be seen from the table above, the Quick 1-2-3 method usually begins with some kind of (possibly quite basic) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (Step 1). This will guide NGOs their quick data collection work (Step 2) and in their data checking/ triangulation efforts (Step 3).

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If you have used this method, we welcome any feedback. Equally, you may want to share your thoughts with us. If so, see the Contact Us page.