There are many sources of existing data that may be useful to you in your evaluation. Consider the following sources of information:
- Project records: Documents developed by the project including periodic project reports (monthly, biannual, annual), baseline data, needs assessments, internal and external evaluations, technical advisor input reports, and field reports.
- Logs and diaries: Documents kept by project personnel or beneficiaries that records data in a real-time and ongoing manner. Logs may capture school attendance, numbers of field visits by extension officers, frequency of rain during a month. Diaries can allow for more personal and reflective comments and may be more retrospective than logs, although data is generally recorded as close to events as possible.
- Reports on other projects: Other projects related to the initiative being evaluated can be useful to review. Types of reports for other projects are similar to those that can be reviewed for the project itself: periodic project reports (monthly, biannual, annual), baseline data, needs assessments, internal and external evaluations, technical advisor input reports, and field reports.
- Official statistics: Government agencies often collect statistics that can be of use to evaluators. Data is compiled by national statistical agencies as well as international bodies working in the project’s particular sector (for example, UNICEF compiles statistics that are useful for education projects http://www.unicef.org/statistics/
For further information including an overview and related options go to the Collect/ Retrieve Data task.