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Measuring What Matters (a thinking tool)

Measuring What Matters is a simple and practical tool for anyone undertaking evaluation, to help them ask the right questions, of the right people, in the right way.

There is a huge amount of guidance available to organisations regarding evaluation, but the landscape can be hard to navigate. It is not always easy to separate the good advice from the bad, to know which advice is relevant and which isn’t, and to know exactly how you should gather the data you need in order to begin evaluating. Getting it wrong can mean putting pressure on internal resources, failing to provide the information and evidence you need and causing confusion, inconvenience or anxiety amongst the people you support.

Measuring What Matters helps by connecting an up-to-date, curated list of data collection methods (each linked to reliable and respected organisations, published guidance and resources) with a simple set of questions, making sure you always find the right way to collect data and measure impact when evaluating your activities.

Measuring What Matters can
o Help you to identify the data collection methods which are best suited to your needs, the needs of the people you support, and the needs of the people who support you.
o Help you to find good quality, reliable and practical information and resources regarding data collection.
o Help you to provide clear evidence of your approach to data collection, and the quality of data it provides.
o Complement your organisation’s existing evaluation approach.

Measuring What Matters can’t
o Replace the need for a holistic and considered approach to evaluation within your organisation.
o List every possible way of collecting data.
o Help you to establish what you should be evaluating in the first place.
o Guarantee that the data you collect will demonstrate the impacts you hoped for!

Current version: 2.1



There are three ways to use Measuring What Matters:

o The booklet: click here to open the pdf toolkit in a new tab.

o The summary wall chart (it is best viewed in A2 size, but A3 is ok too!): click here to download and print it.

o The online tool! Below.


Measuring What Matters online tool:

For each category (people, purpose, process) select the ONE option which most closely applies to your question.

PEOPLE: It matters most to the people your activity supports that ...


They co-design, as well as participate in, the evaluation.


They have time to give detailed and open feedback about anything.


They can offer simple targeted feedback about key points.


Their experiences are observed and inform the evaluation.


The evaluation does not involve them personally in any way.
PURPOSE: It matters most to the people your evaluation is for that ...


It tells them how your activity is designed and delivered.


It tells them about the changes and effects your activity has achieved.


It estimates the monetary value of your activity.
PROCESS: It matters most to the people carrying out the evaluation that ...


It is relatively quick and easy to do.


Time and resources are spent gathering rich and detailed evidence.

Getting Results


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