C4D: Identify primary intended users

What is it?

Intended users are the specifically identified people who will use the M&E findings; primary intended users are those whose needs the evaluation will particularly try to meet. Primary intended users have a desire, responsibility or role in doing things differently (e.g. make decisions, change strategies, take action, change policies, etc.), because of their engagement in the R,M&E process and/or with the R,M&E findings. Therefore, to make sure the R,M&E is used, it is important to identify and engage with these people. The stakeholder engagement task is a good starting point for identifying users. It is useful to think about the primary intended users while also thinking about the primary intended uses (or the purpose). 

General information

General advice and additional resources about identifying intended users are available in the Rainbow Framework - this page is recommended background reading before considering methods to apply to C4D. 

Applying the C4D principles


Because the C4D Evaluation Framework suggests a participatory approach, this should influence thinking about primary intended users. For example, in C4D key members of the community can often be primary intended users, especially for collective action and social mobilization.


We often assume that the primary intended users of RM&E are the manager and donors. In C4D we to think more broadly about who might use the RM&E. Key users in C4D usually include community groups, partners and others with roles in planning and implementation. The C4D and the R,M&E should be accountable to all of these groups.


It is important to bring a critical lens to this process, and ensure that the primary intended users are not only those with formal, hierarchical power. The processes for engaging with primary intended users should address issues of power and control to ensure the needs and values of the less powerful are not excluded. 


There may be different views about who to include, there may be multiple users. Primary intended users may have different information needs because of their different roles and priorities.

Recommended methods and adaptations for C4D

  • Below are some ideas about primary intended uses and users. You can find further discussion about uses (purpose)  on the 'Decide purpose' page.

    Primary intended uses Primary intended users
    Incremental adjustments and improvements? Program managers?
    Revisions during annual planning or end-of-cycle changes? UNICEF (or similar agency) staff?
    Accountability? (consider to whom - eg funders, local community, peers) Implementing partners? Local community? Civil society?
    Contributing to evidence base about what works for whom in what context and how? Government partners – central agencies? Line agencies?
    Informing subsequent investment decisions Joint funders and donors?
    Advocacy on behalf of the community? Civil society?

'C4D: Identify primary intended users' is referenced in: