In order to serve effectively as a bridge to data collection, indicators must be specific items of information that describe observable and measurable characteristics or changes in corresponding outcomes. Indicators must be measures that can be seen, heard, counted, reported, or enumerated using some type of data collection method.
Performance indicators answer questions like, "How you will know when changes have occurred?" and "How you will know when you have achieved the outcomes?" Thinking ahead to possible data collection methods will tell you if your indicators are specific enough. Ask questions like these to determine whether your indicators will work:
- How can I see the change? (Through what kind of observation?)
- How can I hear the change? (Through interviews? Focus groups?)
- How can I read the change? (Through surveys? In records?)