Measuring what matters (a thinking tool)

Measuring what matters is a decision-support tool.

It helps users select data collection methods based on:

  1. the intended level of participation in the evaluation by intended beneficiaries ;
  2. Whether it's a process evaluation, outcome/impact evaluation or a cost-benefit evaluation; and
  3. Whether they want a quick and easy evaluation or something more in-depth.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Noreen Blanluet (Co-production Network for Wales).

Authors and their affiliation

Co-production Network for Wales

Key features

Measuring What Matters is a simple and practical tool for anyone undertaking evaluation, to help them ask the right questions, of the right people, in the right way. 

There is a huge amount of guidance available to organisations regarding evaluation, but the landscape can be hard to navigate. It is not always easy to separate the good advice from the bad, to know which advice is relevant and which isn’t, and to know exactly how you should gather the data you need in order to begin evaluating. Getting it wrong can mean putting pressure on internal resources, failing to provide the information and evidence you need and causing confusion, inconvenience or anxiety amongst the people you support.

Measuring What Matters helps by connecting an up-to-date, curated list of data collection methods (each linked to reliable and respected organisations, published guidance and resources) with a simple set of questions, making sure you always find the right way to collect data and measure impact when evaluating your activities.

Measuring What Matters can …

  • Help you to identify the data collection methods which are best suited to your needs, the needs of the people you support, and the needs of the people who support you.

  • Help you to find good quality, reliable and practical information and resources regarding data collection.

  • Help you to provide clear evidence of your approach to data collection, and the quality of data it provides.

  • Complement your organisation’s existing evaluation approach.

Measuring What Matters can’t …

  • Replace the need for a holistic and considered approach to evaluation within your organisation.

  • List every possible way of collecting data.

  • Help you to establish what you should be evaluating in the first place.

  • Guarantee that the data you collect will demonstrate the impacts you hoped for!

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

We collated Measuring What Matters because there is a wealth of evaluation methods and techniques, all well documented, but practitioners running projects don't have time to sift through all of them to find the most appropriate one to their needs. To improve the ease and quality of evidence generation we wanted to save people the time and effort and deliver to them a shortlist of documented methods and tools appropriate for their situation and context. We also wanted to counteract the widespread notion that to produce good evidence you can only either be an academic researcher linked to a university, or you need to contract in an external evaluator. This way, everyone can do evaluation - and that's a good thing for transmission of learning and building an evidence base.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The feedback we've had so far has been very good, and we'd like more people to have access to it, try it, and see if it's helpful to them. It's a lot of information condensed in a small toolkit which should be helpful to many. 


Co-production Network for Wales (2019). Measuring What Matters (a thinking tool). Retrieved from: