Qualitative indicators

Qualitative indicator captures judgement, perceptions and dimensions difficult to quantify such as satisfaction or capacities. 

Qualitative indicators (or questions) are often used in opinion surveys. The following example uses a 5 point Likert scale: 

In the above example, you would be able to count the % of satisfied customers (who picked "good" or "excellent").

An other common example is for hard to quantify dimensions such as organizational capacity. The following example is to assess the leadership of organisations involved in community-based health care: 

1 Null   Health leadership is provided by health professionals, without community participation
2 Low The health committee is not functioning, but the local health official works independently from the interest groups.
3 Moderate The health committee operates under the direction of an independent local health official.
4 Good The health committee is active and takes initiatives.
5 Excellent The health committee represents all the diversity of interests present in the community, and controls the activities of the local health officer.

In all cases, qualitative indicators are often attributed numerical values to be more easily communicated, like when organizations report on the rate of beneficiaries satisfied with a service delivery (% of people who selected 4 or 5 on a likert scale), or that people are on average satisfied because the aggregated average value of all answers are +4.0. Qualitative indicators can add a lot of contextual information to quantitative indicators. There are however multiple considerations to take into account when designing an appropriate qualitative indicator. Make sure to discuss them with your M&E team before starting to collect data!


Radar charts are particularly useful to present multiple and related qualitative indicators

You can create a qualitative indicator from the logframe module. You must first determine if you wish to add a root indicator, or an indicator to a specific level (goal, outcome or output).

Click on the + Indicator button if it is a root level indicator, or on the + sign next to the level where you wish to enter your indicator. 
Enter the description (title) for your indicator. The Quantitative type will be selected by default, click on the drop-down list to select Qualitative. 

Qualitative “scale” indicator

Example: level of appreciation of your project

Qualitative “event” or “deliverable” indicator

Example: the guide is published

Here the "events" or steps before completion are given equal weights of "20" from 0 to 100, meaning in this case that for the guide to be published it requires to go through 5 steps of estimated equal effort and/or importance. If aggregated the average value of this indicator will provide a numerical hint of the overall completion rate of all guides published. 

If you wish to enter disaggregated target values, refer to:  Enter disaggregated target values


With qualitative indicators it is not possible to have two different items in the scale with the same numerical value.