Key components of an analysis plan
Analysis plans should include the following key components:
1. Monitoring and evaluation questions
Common monitoring questions include, but are not limited to the following:
Level of project progress against planned achievements
The effectiveness of targeting
Early signs of intended change (at all levels of the ProFrame)
Early signs of unintended change
Changes in the context at the household and community levels
Problems and successes in implementation of project activities
Common evaluation questions can include the following:
Appropriateness of project strategies and interventions
Efficiency of implementation
Effectiveness of the activities
Impact of the project (intended and unintended, positive and negative)
Sustainability of the project‘s impact
List any cross-tabulations required for analysis that have not already been
specified in the M&E plan. This is important for both impact results and for
tracking project progress and outputs. It is also helpful to create the tables to
house these results at this time.
3. Comparison groups
List all comparison groups required for the project‘s information needs. Common
comparison groups include male-headed versus female-headed households,
different wealth groups (based on household asset ownership), different
geographic regions and households with different primary livelihood strategies.
Comparison will often require additional calculations to create the comparison
groups (e.g., wealth groups and levels of livelihood security). Record these
calculations in your analysis plan.
For both qualitative and quantitative data, make sure that your sampling
strategies support these comparisons. The sample size for quantitative data must
be designed to support comparisons between groups (or ―strata‖ as they are
referred to in random sampling) if statistical comparison is required. You must
collect qualitative data from the appropriate groups or individuals to represent
adequately the intended comparisons.
Ensure that qualitative data will allow for necessary comparisons. Make a note of
what perspectives the qualitative data should represent.
4. Theories of change, critical assumptions, and learning questions
State how the project‘s theories of change will be tested or checked through the
monitoring and evaluation data. Theories of change are suggested relationships
between occurrences or factors, such as types of households and levels of food
security that are key to achieving the project‘s higher-level impact. You may test
theories of change through IR- and SO-level ProFrame indicators, monitoring
whether activities and outputs result in intended change in behavior and
whether these in turn lead to the higher-level outcomes aimed for. You also
should monitor the project‘s critical assumptions, identified in the ProFrame, to
ensure that the intended change can occur in the project context.
Operations research projects typically include learning questions that frame the
M&E plan and analysis. Learning questions are larger questions, often about the
method of project implementation, the context for participating households and
communities, and individual perspective or behaviors.
Monitoring theories of change, critical assumptions, and learning questions is
likely to require synthesizing multiple indicators or results. Include multiple
perspectives held by different stakeholders in the interpretation.
5. Special reporting requirements
List any special reporting requirements that donors and other stakeholders may
haverequested. These might include different outputs, indicators, or
comparisons not included in the ProFrame.