What's an Indicator?

Indicators are signs of progress and change that result from your project. They provide some guidance about what would be useful evaluation information to collect. Some of this will involve collecting information along the way, which help you to gauge how well things are going, and possibly enable you to make improvements throughout the project. Others will involve collecting information at the end of the project.

  “An indicator is a marker. It can be compared to a road sign which shows whether you are on the right road, how far you have travelled and how far you have to travel to reach your destination. Indicators show progress and help measure change.” (Fuerstein)  

Usually indicators are expressed in numbers, eg:

  • Number of participants in a program, the proportion of which are male or female, or from different age groups or ethnic groups, or geographical areas
  • % of clients satisfied with the information provided
  • % of people who have stopped smoking

It can also be useful to have indicators that are not numbers, eg:

  • Training seminar outline produced by your project
  •  Summary of findings from a needs assessment
  • Documentation of policies, or networks developed

There are two main types of indicators – ‘process’ and ‘impact/outcome’.


Evaluation Indicators Indicators of process