Project indicators

After analysing and prioritising your projects, it is now time to develop a set of adequate indicators for each project. The present tool shall support you to do so in three steps. First, analyse the expected impact of each project. Then, draft the indicators. Thirdly, link the indicators with the goals of global agendas.

Nevertheless, when formulating indicators to monitor and review progress towards achieving global agendas, always keep in mind what the physicist Albert Einstein once said: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”


Defining indicators for an effective project monitoring and evaluation in line with global agendas


Step 1: Analysing the expected impact of your project

  • Use the ‘Objectives & Impact Template’ from the material section below and write down key words for your project’s main objectives, required inputs/activities, as well as outputs and expected impacts.


Step 2: Drafting indicators

  • Now, use the ‘Indicator Template’ and formulate one indicator for the goal, one for the outcome, and two for the output. You can also find an example for this exercise in the download section below.
  • Then, define how these indicators can be measured and set the baseline and targets. List the type of data that would be needed for progress reporting, its possible source or database, the stakeholder or institution that is responsible for the data collection and how often it is collected.
  • To select appropriate indicators, you can begin by going back to your programme design and steps that are usually taken and established in your city administration. Try to understand what information you want to use to inform programme management and planning. Then develop a list of all possible indicators that could be used. Do not limit yourself at this point – it is a brain storming exercise meant to generate as many measurement ideas as possible. Think of internal sources of information measurements and also look for examples of how other programmes have been measured. Try not to reinvent the wheel.
  • Here are some further tips for selecting and formulating indicators:

Tip 1:  Clarify the results statements, i.e. are objective and goals realistic and measurable

Tip 2: Explore whether there are already standard indicators which can be used

Tip 3: Each indicator should measure only one thing or aspect

Tip 4: Mix indicators on the log-frame hierarchy for a particular project

Tip 5: Mix quantitative and qualitative indicators for a particular project

Tip 6: Limit the number of indicators used to track each objective or result to a few (two or three).

Tip 7: Remember your target audience (who do you want to address with the information?)

Tip 8:  Use participatory processes to define indicators and enhance ownership among your target audience. For instance, different stakeholders can take responsibility for monitoring certain sets of indicators or contribute to collecting necessary data and information.


Step 3: Linking indicators to global agendas

  • After having defined the indicators for your project and having listed the data that is needed for progress reporting, identify to which global goals the data is connected. Use the template ‘Matching Project Indicators & Global Targets’.
  • If possible, try to comment on how well it correlates to the targets (high, medium, low) and if the data collected is already used to measure progress of current projects (if so, list examples).
  • If you want to look up the SDG targets and indicators, have a look at the list provided in the material section below.
  • As a follow-up assessment, ask the following question: Is it possible to analyse how these indicators are related to the relevant SDGs indicators?


This exercise is also feasible for workshop settings with 2 to 6 groups. If conducted during a workshop, make sure to provide sufficient visualisation material and handouts for the participants.


2 – 4 hours


Table with adequate indicators for your project