Counting People Reached – Navigating direct, indirect and double counting

Sep 9, 2016


With the increased attention to performance accountability, there has understandably been much focus on the measurement of impact indicators and higher level results. However, one should not underestimate the importance of and challenges for measuring basic output-level indicators, such as people reached by services (AKA “beneficiaries”). This blog will examine this, focusing on the challenges presented by direct, indirect and double counting. It will conclude that there is no universal “recipe” for accurately counting people reached, but approaches can be adapted according to organizational and operational context.Continue Reading

“Beneficiary” Revisited

May 9, 2016


One topic of debate that periodically seems to crop up on major M&E (and development) listservs is what to call the people our interventions (e.g. projects and programs) target to help. From “beneficiaries” and “clients” to “target population” and “people reached,” semantics vary, with salient considerations (and complications) for measurement. In this blog I’ll 1) discuss a couple glitches with the use of “beneficiary,” 2) acknowledge that wordage ultimately adapts to context, and 3) stress the important distinction between measuring service coverage versus impact.
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