Using Direct Observation Techniques

This document from USAID provides a range of detailed tips for undertaking direct observation in the field.  

It also provides a case study to demonstrate how direct observation can be used and an example of a direct observation form for recording observations.


Steps in Using Direct Observation:

  • Step 1. Determine the focus
  • Step 2. Develop direct observation forms
  • Step 3. Select the sites
  • Step 4. Decide on the best timing
  • Step 5. Conduct the field observation
  • Step 6. Complete forms
  • Step 7. Analyze the data
  • Step 8. Check for reliability and validity


Kumar, K. USAID, Center for Development Information and Evaluation. (1996). Performance monitoring and evaluation tips: Using direct observation techniques (PN-ABY-208). Retrieved from website:

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