Acquired Knowledge / Skills

Indicator Phrasing

number of target group members who gained the desired knowledge / skills

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: number of target group members who gained the desired knowledge / skills

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the learning benefits of any knowledge and skills-transfer activities, such as class- or field-based training, demonstrations and awareness-raising sessions. Not only can it be used for a single activity (e.g. training), but also for a sum total of different knowledge and skills-transfer activities.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Define a limited number of the most important knowledge or/and skills that the project participants should gain as a result of the provided support. Avoid having unrealistically high or unnecessarily low requirements by verifying the test’s difficulty by pre-testing it with at least 10 people.


2) Decide the minimum result a person needs to reach in order to pass the test (for example, answering correctly at least 7 out of 10 knowledge-related questions and performing correctly at least 3 out of 5 tested skills).


3) Prepare simple tests assessing whether the targeted project participants have the pre-defined, most important knowledge and/or skills.


4) Administer the test to a representative sample of your target group members by using a combination of:

  > A written test (in the case of literate persons) or interview where the data collector asks knowledge-related questions and records whether the participant provided correct answers (in the case of largely illiterate persons)

  > Observations where the participants are asked to perform the tested skill and the data collector records whether it was performed correctly


5) Count whether the participant reached the minimum required result.


6) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of participants who attained the minimum required knowledge/skills by the total number of tested participants. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to percentages. For example, 40 participants who passed the test divided by 50 participants who took the test multiplied by 100 equals an 80% success rate. 


For the next step, multiply this “success rate” by the total number of the target group members (e.g. 80% multiplied by 10,000 equals 8,000 people who acquired the desired knowledge).

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the results by gender and other important criteria, depending on your project’s context and focus.


Important Comments

1) Always conduct both a “pre-test” and “post-test” – otherwise you will not know the extent to which the respondents changed their knowledge and skills.


2) Decide whether to measure the direct effect of a one-off activity (e.g. a demonstration) or the effect of a longer learning process (e.g. series of several trainings over a period of time).


3) If possible, conduct the “post-test” twice – once immediately after the “capacity building” activity is completed (showing you the immediate learning) and then several months later (showing you the knowledge and/or skills which people actually remember and might use). However, the tests do not need to relate to a single activity only (e.g. training) – they can be done during the baseline and endline surveys, assessing the overall change in the target population’s specific knowledge and/or skills.


This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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