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Active Participation in Activities

Indicator Phrasing

% of target group members actively participating in [specify the activity]
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of target group members actively participating in [specify the activity]

French: % de membres du groupe cible participant activement à [spécifier l'activité]

Portuguese: % de membros do grupo-alvo que participam activamente em [especificar a actividade]

Czech: % členů cílové skupiny, kteří se aktivně účastní [uveďte aktivitu]

What is its purpose?

This essential indicator shows the extent to which the target group members actively participate in a given project activity, such as training or community group meetings. It encompasses two important pre-conditions for ensuring that a given activity is effective: First, the target group members are participating. Second, they participate actively in a way that is more likely to bring the desired results.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Define what it means to “actively participate” in a given activity. Such criteria must be fully tailored to the content and purpose of the activity. Examples of the criteria include:


Active participation can mean, amongst others, that a person frequently joins the project activities. For example, a person has joined at least 2 out of 3 training sessions in the past 4 months. To collect such data, you can conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of the target group members. The enumerator should describe the activity in such a way that it is sure that the respondent understands what the enumerator is talking about and then asks open-ended questions about the respondent’s participation. For example:

Q: “Since the start of this rainy season, have you attended such training?” If so, the enumerator asks: “How many times have you attended the training?”

A: _

1) did not attend any training

2) attended one training session

3) attended two training sessions

4) attended three training sessions

5) does not remember



Active participation also concerns how actively a person participates in a given activity. A person who just passively attends an activity should not be considered “actively participating”. For example, in the case of community groups, active participation might mean that a person expresses her/his opinion, and the opinion is heard (at least sometimes). In such a case, you can conduct individual interviews, as described under ‘frequency’ above. You could use the following survey questions:

Q: During the meetings of this group, do you sometimes share your opinions with other group members?

A: yes / no

Q: When you share your opinions with other group members, how often do they take them into consideration?

A: often / sometimes / rarely / never / doesn’t know

In such cases where a person sometimes shares opinions and these opinions are (‘often’ or ‘sometimes’) taken into consideration by other participants, the person can be considered as ‘actively participating’.


There might be additional (or more appropriate) criteria for what “actively participating” means in the context of your activity.



2) Count how many people meet the criteria for “active participation” in the given activity.



3) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of people who “actively participated” by the total number of surveyed people (excluding those who didn’t remember / didn’t know). Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender, age group, location, and other criteria relevant to the focus and context of your intervention.

Important Comments

1) If a person has not participated in the activity, ask them why – such information can help increase the proportion of target group members actively participating in the given activity. Similarly, try to understand why some people do not actively engage in the activity.


2) In addition to reporting on the indicator’s value, report on the individual criteria. For example:

  - % of target group members who participated in a given activity at the minimum frequency (criteria: frequency)

  - % of target group members who actively engaged in the given activity (criteria: engagement)

The data will show you where the main weaknesses are – for example, whether only a portion of target group members participates in the activity or whether people attend the activity but not many actively engage.

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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