6.6. Develop and Select WEEGE-Specific Indicators

Once the results framework has been established, indicators must be selected or developed that measure each DO or IR and sub-IR. Selecting indicators is a lengthy process and often entails choosing relevant foreign-assistance standard indicators (F-indicators), as well as identifying other indicators that may better measure degrees of success (or failure). When selecting WEEGE indicators, be specific about what is being measured and consider how best to measure it; it should be feasible to collect, analyze and report on.

Indicators can be quantitative or qualitative. Ideally, a combination of both should be used, to gain as well-rounded a perspective on WEEGE as possible. Quantitative indicators can be measured numerically (such as percentage increase or dollar increase in wages). In terms of WEEGE, these indicators might capture gender gaps in employment or asset ownership, for example, and demonstrate the degree of equal or unequal opportunities for men and women in the economy. Qualitative indicators may also be quantifiable, but they are based on subjective criteria. For example, subjective dimensions of empowerment such as the percentage of women who report increased self-esteem, can be quantified. Empowerment indicators should reflect the extent to which women can make decisions freely and independently, without social pressure or coercion and without legal or social barriers curtailing their choices. Qualitative data may also be observable but not easily quantified, or it may capture anecdotal information such as stories, emotions and even changes in perceptions or shifts in attitudes. Both kinds of indicators are important and can provide different perspectives on what is being measured.

When selecting indicators, ensure they are input1 , output2  or outcome3  based. Input indicators measure what resources were put forth toward an aim (such as how much money was spent to train a group of beneficiaries). Inputs can also reflect design processes and the extent to which they are consultative or demand-driven. Output indicators measure the direct results of an activity that has occurred (for example, the number of people trained). Many F-indicators are output indicators. Outcome indicators measure the result of an action (for example, a change in skills or attitude due to training). A good mix of different types of indicators will produce a more holistic and nuanced analysis of what is being measured. For more guidance around selecting indicators, refer to this link to read the Monitoring Toolkit: Selecting Indicators. A list of illustrative and customizable WEEGE indicators, with filters to assist in the selection process, can be found in Tool 1: WEEGE Illustrative Indicators.

  • 1ADS 201 defines an input as “a resource, such as funding, information, or people, including the provision of USAID staff, whether funded by operating expenses or program funds, used to create an output.”
  • 2ADS 201 defines outputs as “the tangible, immediate, and intended products or consequences of an activity within USAID’s control or influence; the direct result of inputs.”
  • 3ADS 201 defines an outcome as “the conditions of people, systems, or institutions that indicate progress or lack of progress toward achievement of project/program goals. Outcomes are any result higher than an output to which a given output contributes, but for which it might not be solely responsible. Outcomes can be intermediate or end outcomes, short-term or long-term, intended or unintended, positive or negative, direct or indirect.”