C4D: Identify reporting requirement

What is it?

Different groups of primary intended users and other stakeholders will have different needs in relation to reporting requirements (what needs to be reported and when) emerging from R,M&E. It is important to think about these needs as part of the M&E Framework or Evaluation Plan before beginning the data collection and analysis to ensure that the R,M&E activities will meet these needs. It is useful to undertake this task in conjunction with identifying primary intended users and deciding the purpose. This information should then be reviewed periodically. 

General information

Advice on undertaking the task of identifying reporting requirements can be found in the Rainbow Framework. It includes links to more information on communication plans and reporting needs analysis. This page is recommended reading before considering methods to apply to C4D.

Applying the C4D Principles


Reports from R,M&E are usually focused on satisfying the needs of donor and managers. These are important users, but it is also important to think about the reporting needs of other groups we are accountable to. This includes partners, community groups, local institutions and other stakeholders.


Taking a participatory approach to undertaking this task would mean actively engaging with key stakeholders in a reporting needs analysis, and/or the development of a communication plan. It would mean thinking about the needs and uses of communities and other groups and the reporting requirements to support this.


Different primary intended users may have different preferences for receiving reports. They may also have different interests and time scales for applying the findings. Thoughtful reporting strategies that suit the user’s needs and timeframes can help facilitate an adaptive approach to C4D work.


Critically reflect on the assumptions relating to reporting. It is important to ask: are there good reasons why reporting must take certain forms? are there ways in which certain reporting requirements exclude or favour certain groups? whose needs are being served by the reporting requirements?

Recommended methods and adaptations for C4D

  • It is reasonable to expect that this task is something that would be a strength for C4D, however, this task is often neglected when things get busy.

'C4D: Identify reporting requirement' is referenced in: