How to Track Progress

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  November 21, 2014

Here are the guidelines to our milestones. We co-create a set of milestones for each grant renewal with every portfolio organization we fund. This helps us -- and our portfolio -- anticipate and evaluate progress:

We don't want a long list of goals. We want the key 2 or 3 milestones in each of three areas: Delivery, Organizational Capacity, and Impact. Be specific and quantitative, the point is to have an objective and realistic way to evaluate progress. Here are some examples:

1) Delivery: Milestones numerating delivery of activities that are core to your mission, e.g.

  • Number of community conservation agreements signed
  • Number of clinics and patients served
  • Number of farmers enrolled in a project
  • Sales volumes of products

2) Organizational Capacity: Milestones that relate to the capacity of your organization to achieve the mission, e.g.

  • Key hires (new COO, etc)
  • Board development
  • Fundraising goals

3) Impact: Specific, quantified and verified measures of impact per the organization's mission. If it is too early to anticipate or document impact, then talk about behavior change. If it's too early for that, describe what you intend to accomplish in terms of creating systems to measure impact, e.g.

  • Reductions in child mortality
  • Reductions in key disease rates
  • Increases in income
  • Reductions in snaring or poaching
  • Increases of a species population

The articulation of mutually useful milestones is a collaborative process, and we usually go back and forth a couple of times before settling on a set of objective indicators to guide the year ahead. The first step is getting a draft set of milestones on paper. We'd be happy to send you some specific examples from other Mulago organizations if that would be helpful.

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