CASE STUDY: Easy and Practical Indicators for New Leaders Foundation

Easy and Practical Indicators for New Leaders Foundation

Indicators should ideally be accessible, realistic and practical to measure. It should be feasible to collect the data that forms the indicator.

The New Leaders Foundation (NLF) is focused on the South African education sector, working with and supporting district officials to improve the effectiveness of their work in schools. They have first hand experience of tackling the difficulties in identifying accessible, realistic and practical indicators. In their initial M&E planning phase, they aimed to collect information on important final outcomes (such as learner and teacher attendance at school, curriculum coverage and learner results). However, they quickly found the data was very difficult to measure and hard to collect consistently and systematically. It did not enable them to do a proper analysis.

Instead, the NLF now focuses on measuring long term outcomes (which would ulitmately lead to the impact that the organisation is hoping to achieve). They have developed indicators to measure the management and leadership skills of the district and school managers. The M&E toolkit below shows the measures they use for assessing this by surveying principals, school management teams, district officials, teachers and learners. Using this data, NLF can accurately and effectively report on their collected data.

Focusing on intermediary outcomes is one approach that may be appropriate for organisations that find it too costly or impractical to measure impact. There are drawbacks to this approach, particularly if we are most interested in the final impact and are not convinced that this is linked to intermediary outcomes.