Baseline studies

Baseline studies are all about gaining insight into the behavior of beneficiaries and other stakeholders and identifying the underlying motivations for those behaviors. In addition, there is a need to uncover potential issues and implications that will impact on how the programme should be executed. Finally, baseline studies provide an opportunity to set up key indicators and establish benchmarks for future monitoring and evaluation initiatives.

Rapid Asia has carried out baseline and assessment studies across all continents in the world, and through our experience we have identified a number of key success factors.

  1. Clear understanding of the programme outcomes
    Insights are only insights if they go to the heart of what the programme is trying to achieve. Hence, a lot of efforts goes into making sure we ask the right questions.
  2. Partner collaboration
    There will always be an organization or individual who already possess expertise in the area of study. Our approach is to learn from them and involve them as much as possible.
  3. Stakeholder engagement
    Involving stakeholders to obtain their ‘buy in’ and a level of ownership of the programme is essential, particularly for programmes that have political or social sensitivities.
  4. Develop key indicators
    All programmes will at some point become subject to an evaluation so it makes good sense to establish some key performance indicators as early as possible.
  5. Consider implications of local conditions
    Every country is different and this can impact baseline design and execution. Local customs, education levels, media penetration, technology access, and religious beliefs can all profoundly influence the result.