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Completed Referrals

Indicator Phrasing

number of completed safe referrals made to specialised service providers according to referral pathways during [specify the period]
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: number of completed safe referrals made to specialised service providers according to referral pathways during [specify the period]

French: nombre de référencements sécurisés effectués vers des prestataires de services spécialisés qui suivent les voies de référencement pendant [préciser la période]

Portuguese: número de referências concluídas de forma segura para prestadores de serviços especializados de acordo com os mecanismos de referência durante [especificar o período]

Czech: počet správně provedených doporučení zaslaných specializovaným poskytovatelům služeb během [uveďte období]

What is its purpose?

The indicator shows the extent to which the project staff identified people in need of specialised services and safely referred them to specialised services providers, following the international minimum standards (or an organization’s internal policy based on the standards). A referral is the process of directing an individual or a household to another service provider because s/he requires assistance which the referring organization cannot provide.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

The indicator’s value can be determined by using the following methodology:


1) Define what a “completed safe referral” means in the context of your intervention. According to the existing international standards (see document below), this should include:

   - a staff member, who is trained on referring people, identifies a person who needs a service and understands what his/her capacities are to access the service

    - the staff member provides information on available services

    - the staff member asks if the person (or his/her child) would like to be referred to the relevant service provider

    - if so, the staff member asks for consent/assent to collect the required information

    - if consent is given, the staff member completes an intake form, preferably the Inter-Agency Referral Form (the staff member does not ask for any additional information and avoids raising expectations)

   - the staff member coordinates with and sends the completed form / relevant information to the most relevant service provider

   - the referral made is recorded in a protected, confidential database (usually a Referral Register managed by a Referral Focal Point)

   - in a timely manner, the service provider is contacted and acknowledges that it received the referral (i.e. the referral is completed)

For further details, see Inter-Agency Minimum Standard on Referrals below.


2) Use data entered in the referring organization’s database to count the number of completed safe referrals made according to the definition made in point 1. Always count the number of referrals, not people – if a person was effectively referred to two different actors for different kinds of services, this should be counted as two referrals.


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender, age group, persons with a disability and the type of the service referred to.

Important Comments

1) For the purpose of this indicator, it cannot be considered as a referral if a person who needs assistance is only given the contact details of a service provider but the organization does not inform the provider about the person and her/his needs. The only exception would be when the person wants to visit the provider but doesn’t want the organization to inform the provider about her/him.


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This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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