3.5 Monitoring gender equality and women’s empowerment in WASH
Monitoring means collecting data to find out if progress is being made towards achieving an aim or objective. It is important because it enables evaluation of the success or otherwise of a strategy, project or other activity. People and organisations responsible for monitoring often use indicators as a means to collect useful data. An indicator is something that can be counted, measured or assessed and provides evidence of progress towards achieving a specific goal.
Data and indicators can be classified as either quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data, as the name suggests, is concerned with measurable quantities such as total numbers, percentages, and averages. Qualitative data is not based on numbers but on assessments of people’s opinions, attitudes, values and beliefs.
Quantitative methods of data collection focus on what can be counted; common sources are censuses, surveys and administrative records. Typical sources of qualitative data are interviews and focus group discussions.