Monitoring and Impact Measurement

Measurement Matters

MEDA is committed to measuring lasting impact. Gathering data on the work we do to create business solutions to poverty informs our decisions, adaptations, and interventions. By collecting and analyzing data, we can best contribute to our clients’ economic empowerment and prosperity.

Creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, replicable, and measurable is at the core of what we do. Our responsibility is to respond to the needs of our clients and adapt our services to best suit their families and businesses. How can we do this? Through the consistent monitoring of our impact through qualitative and quantitative measures.

Informing Data-driven Decisions

MEDA strives to make informed decisions that reflect the needs of our clients and partners. Ongoing learning is the foundation of our measurement systems. We work to confront our assumptions and respond when our solutions need adaption. Listening to the needs of our clients is paramount to creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable and change the world for the better.


Rolling Baseline Methodology

With staggered client entry, our projects use a rolling baseline methodology that allows us to understand the starting point of their well-being and business performance. Program participants are assessed before they work with MEDA and then again throughout their interactions with us.


Surveys are used to establish cause and effect relationships. Surveys are comprehensive, attributable and allow us to gather the data needed to assess indicators related to the business success and wellbeing. Usually conducted annually, they allow us to measure results over time. 

Mobile Data Collection

Mobile phones or tablets are used in rural and inaccessible places to collect and manage data. Mobile data collection platforms allows us to customize surveys to collect specific data needed on income, enterprise performance, capacity, and take photos and GIS coordinates. The flexibility of mobile data collection allows MEDA to quickly pivot and make decisions based on the realities on the ground.

Focus Group Discussions

Focus group discussions are interviews with 6 – 10 participants. Designed to elicit qualitative data, focus groups are safe places for clients and partners to share about their experiences with MEDA’s trainings, tools, and interventions. Questions are asked of the group and the researcher records the vital information shared by the group.

Stories of Change

The stories of change approach is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. MEDA involves stakeholders at different levels to discuss the changes expected and to review which are the most important. This method is valuable for learning about what types of unanticipated changes may be occurring in a project.

At its core, this form of story collection is a simple process of asking our clients what changes they have seen in their lives since working with MEDA, and why these are important. Story collection is an effective monitoring tool because it can occur throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage and adapt the program over time.

These stories evaluate project efforts because they provide data on impact and outcomes to assess programmatic performance. Stories are not based on pre-defined indicators but instead involves a systematic process of selecting the most significant stories, chosen by a panel of designated stakeholders.


Sustainability is important to us, and we want to see our clients continue to grow their incomes and operate successful businesses even after we leave. We measure key business performance indicators among past clients three years after our projects close and use this information to continually improve how we create business solutions to poverty.

Nang Khin Swe's Story

In Myanmar, women face many barriers to banking services, access to credit, business training and leadership opportunities. Nang Khin Swe is one women in her community who is challenging the status quo by making the transition from farming to sales agent. In her new role, Nang enters communities to buy produce and bring it to sell at the market. Nang received training and support from the MEDA Myanmar team in marketing, customer behavior and produce quality. This ultimately helped her learn her new duties as a sales agent and eventually recover previous losses. Nang’s second effort in collective crop selling was a huge success resulting in 2,228,000 MMK ($1,450 USD) profit, which created interest in other farmers to follow her lead. “This opportunity created a profession for me.” Through MEDA, Nang sought training for her farmers to increase agricultural processing quality so they could sell their produce for a higher price.