Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluating to track and improve program impact.

Village Enterprise prides itself on pursuing the highest standards of rigor in client targeting, program monitoring, and impact evaluation. These processes include multi-stage poverty targeting, business plan feasibility assessment, monitoring business progress, following up with periodic spot-checks, and conducting long-term evaluation studies both in-house and with the support of independent evaluation partners.

We are now using the mobile application Open Data Kit (ODK) to collect data via smartphones. This new technology simplifies data collection and entry, reducing M&E expenses while dramatically increasing our field team’s data collection capacity.


Village Enterprise’s targeting approach is designed to be 1) rigorous, 2) accurate and transparent, and 3) independently verifiable. We utilize Participatory Wealth Ranking, locally-defined poverty indicators, and the Grameen Foundation’s Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) to capture data that is both representative of each location of operation and internationally comparable.

The improved targeting process adopted in 2011 ensures that up to 95% of program participants start with expenditure levels below the poverty line ($2.50/day) and that more than 50% fall below the extreme poverty line ($1.25/day).

Our targeting effectiveness has been validated via the baseline report of our RCT participants revealing that “with more than 75% of VE households within the lowest two quartiles of national and district-specific welfare index values, Village Enterprise has done a [remarkable] job of targeting the poorest households.”


Village Enterprise monitors the progress and success of all our business groups using the following key tools:

  • Small Business Application: Business plans help determine the feasibility of the business idea and track progress toward its implementation.
  • Progress Report (PR): Six to nine months after the business starts, a Progress Report is completed to monitor key operating goals. As part of this ongoing process, each business group is mentored on a regular basis, thereby giving personal attention and guidance in building a successful business.
  • Exit Survey: After a year of operation, an Exit Survey measures the success of the business and ensures that the business will be able to run sustainably after mentoring ends.
  • Business Savings Groups Survey: Business mentors collect monthly data on several key indicators for BSG success and sustainability. These indicators range from total capital and accumulated interest to the number of women in the executive committee.


  • Consumption and Expenditure Recall Survey: Village Enterprise periodically performs research intended to 1) test a project’s theory of change, 2) assess changes in business owners’ standard of living, and 3) compare the relative benefit of different interventions. We conduct consumption and expenditure recall surveys on a random sample of program participants. For the survey, an interviewee is asked to determine amounts of food, semi-durable (medicines, soap, etc.), and durable (furniture, plates, etc.) items they have purchased over certain periods of time. After business owners are in operation for a year, we collect new consumption expenditure data to capture any changes in the sampled group.
  • Standard of Living: We also collect an internally-designed survey to capture standard of living indicators, such as meals per day, meat/fish per week, children in school, etc. Our standard of living survey captures data that is not found on the PPI and consumption expenditure recall survey and provides a snapshot of daily life and of other assets that increase or improve over the course of our program. The survey is collected at the beginning and end of the program to discern changes in living standards.
  • Program Performance Measurement: By capturing baseline data before the business owners receive a grant, and collecting additional data 1-2 years into the program, we can assess the impact of our microenterprise development model on households. We produce Internal Program Performance Measurement Reports three times a year coinciding with our funding cycles.

Independent Evaluation

In October 2013, we launched a 3-year randomized control trial to evaluate our program. Thanks to a generous multi-year grant of over $1 million, this independent evaluation will measure the impact of our program and its unique components on the lives of our business owners and their families, and guide our expansion process and program developments. Moreover, it will contribute to the ongoing policy debate on the creation of sustainable mechanisms for poverty alleviation.

The impact study is conducted by Innovations for Poverty Action with Munshi Salaiman as the Principal Investigator. Additionally, the contribution of Jiaying Zhao of Princeton University and Anuj K. Shah of Chicago Booth School of Business will help assess the effects of a motivational intervention and the extent to which moving business owners out of extreme poverty affects their decision-making.

Mobile Data Collection

Field staff uses sponsored mobile application Open Data Kit (ODK) for data collection via smartphones generously donated by the Motorola Mobility Foundation.

Internal Performance Measurement

Internal Program Performance Measurement Reports are produce three times a year coinciding with our funding cycles. It captures changes in daily consumption and standard of living as displayed in the performance dashboard.


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