Information about the situation of the target group before the beginning of the project or program. This can serve as a reference point for evaluating future progress or for other comparative purposes.


A reference or standard against which outputs or results can be assessed. Examples of benchmarks may include results achieved in the recent past by other comparable organizations, or simply a level of output that might be realistically anticipated under the given circumstances.

Context analysis

A context analysis examines actors in the region and possible means of interfacing with them, while also analyzing actors with similar objectives and target groups, actors whose concepts might be usefully adapted to the current target region, and actors with similar projects from whom lessons can be learned. Goals of a context analysis may include avoiding duplication of other projects’ work, coordinating with other organizations, or establishing useful cooperation agreements.

Data collection methods

The means employed for acquiring data for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation. This may include written questionnaires or interviews, observations, interviews with experts, case studies, the collection of anecdotal evidence, or the analysis of documents.


Indicates the extent to which the intended effects of a project are achieved.


Synonymously used: cost-effectiveness, cost-benefit. Specifies the extent to which inputs (resources) are trasnformed into outputs (services).


Systematic and objective assessment of an ongoing or completed project or program.


Impact (as a level of result / effect / change) covers the social or economic changes at the societal level (level 7). Since reference to society as a whole is neither reasonable nor possible, the changes usually refer to a defined part of society or a region.

Impact orientation

(Social) Impact orientation indicates that a project is planned and implemented with the aim of achieving defined outcomes and impact. Desired changes are formulated as concrete objectives that serve to orient and guide the overall work.


The term ‘indicator’ originates from the latin term indicare, which you may translate with show something. Indicators deliver a reference to an event or a fact, which is not directly observable. Indicators are indispensable for measuring complex matters for monitoring and evaluation reasons.


Financial, personal and material resources invested to make the project happen.

Logic model

A tool to develop and describe how an intervention (e.g., a project or program) is understood to contribute to the (intended) results. Other approaches and terms are theory of change, results framework, logical framework (logframe), results chains or program theory.


The systematic and continuous collection of data during the course of the project. Its aim is to obtain up-to-date information in order to be able to steer and control the project.

Needs assessment

You perform a needs assessment in order to get a grasp of the extent of social problems, of the concrete situation on site and of the expectations and needs of the target group.


Outcomes describe the effects of your project at the level of the target group. They are a core part of the logic model and are subdivided into three stages: changes in knowledge, attitudes and abilities (level 4); in behavior (level 5); or in the living situation / status of the target group (level 6)


Output describes the countable offerings and products of a project as well as their utilization by the target group. Outputs form the basis for a project to have a desired result. Yet, they do not describe results per se.

Project objective

A project’s intended results, which contribute to improving physical, financial, institutional, social, environmental or other conditions for people, groups, organizations or elements of the broader society.


With result we mean changes caused by a particular intervention. We differentiate different levels of result (or change): impacts (impacts at the level of society) and outcomes (impacts on the target groups) -intended or unintended, positive or negative.

Social impact analysis

Used in a narrow sense, this term covers the analysis of data specifically relating to a project’s intended outcomes and impact. It thus challenges the hypotheses on which your project is based.

However, a more expansive view of social impact analysis is useful in the context of impact-oriented project management. Here, it is important to ask not only whether a project has obtained results, but also to determine which specific factors have been crucial in producing these results. Social impact analysis used in this broader sense includes an analysis of the project’s outcomes and impacts and of the project’s outputs and their quality, as well as an examination of the project’s underlying assumptions and the services provided.

Social Reporting Standard (SRS)

The SRS offers a reporting framework for organizations and projects. It is particularly helpful in documenting and communicating projects’ or service providers’ logic models. An SRS report also provides systematic details of the organization’s structure and finances. Thus, the use of an SRS offers a comprehensive overview of the reporting organization.

Social Return on Investment (SROI)

The Social Return on Investment (SROI) is a parameter for measuring social impact in terms of the added social value created by a (social) project. It has been much discussed in recent years, but has also been the subject of some criticism. In SROI analysis, project results are quantified and expressed in monetary terms. Stakeholders Agencies, organizations, groups or individuals that have a direct or indirect interest in a project.


Organizations, groups or individuals with a direct or indirect interest in the project.

Target group

A target group summarizes the specific individuals, groups or organizations for whose benefit a project is undertaken.

Theory of Change (ToC)

See “Logic model”