Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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How do I Collect and Analyze Data?

Evaluation item: 
Evaluation Methods and Data Analysis
  • Brikci, Nouria, and Judith Green. "A Guide to Using Quantitative Research Methodology." MSF, 2007. URI:
    • Available here
    • Beginner
    • This practical guide starts with a discussion on what is qualitative research, what are its aims uses and ethical issues, and then explains how to develop quantitative research designs.  Additionally, it explains how to generate data, with practical tips on how to ask questions, run a discussion, and other key aspects of quantitative research.  Finally, a discussion on data management and analysis and some practical issues helps the user make the most of their data.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Analyzing Qualitative Data for Evaluation." Evaluation Brief 19, CDC, 2009.
    • Available here
    • Intermediate
    • Relevant for evaluators, this brief focuses on analyzing qualitative data.  It includes an overview of qualitative data; how to plan for qualitative data analysis; how to analyze qualitative data; and the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative data.
  • Ober, Heidi. "Guidance for Designing, Monitoring and Evaluating Peacebuilding Projects: Using Theories of Change." London: CARE International UK, 2012.
    • Available here
    • Beginner, Intermediate
    • This general guidance contains practical tips on data collection methods in Section 4.6 (pp. 18-19).
  • USAID Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning. "Conducting Mixed-Method Evaluations." Technical Note, Monitoring and Evaluation Series, Washington DC: USAID, 2013.
    • Available here
    • Intermediate
    • This technical note provides guidance on using mixed methods in evaluation, including concrete advice on how to get the most out of a mixed-method evaluation.
  • Resources on sampling are helpful for ensuring representativeness of the data collected:
    • Easy to access introduction to sampling covering probability sampling (including random sampling), purposive sampling and convenience sampling and suggests further resources. 
    • Alexander, Jessica, and John Cosgrove. "Representative Sampling in Humanitarian Evaluation." Improving the Quality of EHA Evidance Discussion Series Method Note 1. London: ALNAP, 2014. Available here
    • Descriptions from the Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methods of purposive sampling (available here) and probability sampling (available here.)
  • Alexander, Jessica, and Francesca Bonino. "Ensuring Quality of Evidence Generated through Participatory Evaluation in Humanitarian Contexts." Improving the Quality of EHA Evidence Discussion Series Method Note 3. London: ALNAP, 2014.
    • Available here
    • Intermediate
    • This note presents experience-based lessons about what tactics have been used to ensure accuracy and representativeness of data and analysis generated through participatory approaches and discusses the benefits of participatory evaluations.

These resources are intended to introduce users–especially practitioners without evaluation experience or knowledge–to quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluation.  The readings suggested provide a general overview of evaluation methods and their advantages and disadvantages, and offer different guidance on how to conduct evaluations using different methods.  Using mixed methods (both quantitative and qualitative) is increasingly recommended for robust evaluations; guidance on mixed methods is thus also included below.