The survey was developed by Mark Planigale through a partnership project in 2018 with Djirra.

This article provides a template for a staff survey which could be undertaken as part of an Evaluation Needs Assessment. Lirata invites organisations to adapt and use this survey to build evaluation capacity.


Evaluation Needs Assessment

Evaluation Needs Assessment is a process through which we can identify the capacities and areas for development in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) within a team or organisation. It involves looking at the ways that data collection, analysis, reporting, reflection and learning currently occur, and how they could be strengthened. It also considers the types of MEL that would be most useful for achieving organisational goals.

Lirata has developed an Evaluation Needs Assessment Framework which assists organisations to review and rate their MEL capacity across 11 domains.

The role of this survey

The process of assessing MEL capacity involves collecting data that speaks to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks experienced by organisations across the MEL capacity domains of the Needs Assessment framework.

There are a range of options for collecting data from stakeholders about evaluation capacity and needs. We recommend using a combination of methods such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, workshops, document review, data audits, and observation to build a rounded picture of MEL capacity. Choose options that best fit your budget and context.

This survey is designed to gather a mix of qualitative and scalar opinion data from staff in the team, program or organisation in which the Evaluation Needs Assessment is being undertaken.

Each question provides information that helps to assess capacity on one or more of the MEL capacity domains. Survey data should be analysed and combined with other evidence to build a rounded picture of capacity in each domain.

The table below suggests which survey questions relate to which of the Evaluation Needs Assessment capacity domains.

Table 1: Relationship between survey questions and ENA capacity domains



1. MEL knowledge, skills & experience

3a, 3b, 3c, 4

2. MEL attitudes & confidence

3d, 3e, 5a, 5b, 5c

3. MEL focus

7a, 7b, 7c, 8

4. MEL systems

3b, 9b, 9c

5. MEL leadership, roles & relationships

3c, 9d

6. MEL resources


7. MEL culture, support & development

13a, 13b, 13c, 14

8. MEL design

3b, 7a, 7b, 7c, 8

9. Data collection

9a, 9b, 9c, 9d, 10

10. Analysis & reporting

11a, 11b

11. Use & integration

11a, 11b, 11c, 11d, 12, 13b, 13c, 14

Adapt the survey

This template provides a starting point. We recommend adapting the wording and focus to fit your context. Refer to the Evaluation Needs Assessment Framework for guidance.

Survey Monkey version

This survey template is also available as a Survey Monkey online survey. We can share a copy of this survey to other Survey Monkey accounts. Please contact us if you would like a copy of the Survey Monkey survey to use and adapt for your own purposes.

Evaluation Needs Assessment Survey

NOTE: This article provides a summary of the survey questions. A formatted version including response options is available in the downloadable version of this article or by requesting the Survey Monkey online version from Lirata.


Welcome to the Evaluation Needs Assessment Survey for [Organisation/Program].

We are keen to hear the views of staff about current Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) processes and how these could be strengthened.

The survey is anonymous. It will take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete, depending on how much you write.

Please answer as honestly as you can to help us gain an accurate understanding of the current state of M&E within [Organisation/Program]. If you don't know much about M&E, that's fine – just answer as best you can.

Thanks for your participation!

About you

1. What is your role?

2. Which [team/region] are you based in?

Your understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Everyone is at different points in their skills and knowledge about M&E. We're interested to know where you are at currently.

3. How strongly do you agree or disagree:

  1. I could explain the basic concepts of M&E to a colleague if asked
  2. I understand the M&E processes we are expected to follow within [Organisation/Program]
  3. I have the skills needed to make a constructive contribution to M&E within [Organisation/Program]
  4. M&E is relevant to my role within [Organisation/Program]
  5. I feel confident about moving forward with M&E processes at work

4. What aspects of M&E would you like to understand better?

Concerns about Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

People sometimes have concerns about M&E processes. We're interested to know if you share any of these, or not.

5. How strongly do you agree or disagree:

  1. M&E is a distraction from our real work
  2. We are so busy that we don't have time to use M&E well
  3. M&E is too technical for frontline staff and is best left to the boffins

6. What do you think is important to keep in mind when designing M&E processes for [Organisation/Program]?

Shared focus for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Sometimes team members are all on the same page about what they are monitoring and evaluating; other times, everyone has a different idea. Where is [Organisation/Program] at currently?

7. How strongly do you agree or disagree:

  1. Within [Organisation/Program], we have a clear, agreed set of outcomes that we work towards
  2. Within [Organisation/Program], we have a clear shared understanding of what good quality service involves
  3. Within [Organisation/Program], we are clear on what aspects of our service we monitor and evaluate, and why

8. What 3 things do you think would be most useful to track about the work of [Organisation/Program]?

Collecting data and gathering feedback

Data collection is an important step in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

9. How strongly do you agree or disagree:

  1. Data is collected and recorded in consistent ways by staff across [Organisation/Program]
  2. I'm confident that the way [Organisation/Program] staff handle [client/consumer/member] data meets legal requirements and industry standards for privacy, consent and data security
  3. The tools and processes we use for data collection are clear and well-designed
  4. [Organisation/Program] has effective processes for gathering feedback from key stakeholders (e.g. staff, [clients/consumers/members], representatives of partner agencies)

10. What do you think are the areas for improvement in [Organisation/Program]'s data collection tools and processes?

Getting value from our data

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) provides value when the data is used to help achieve [Organisation/Program]'s goals.

11. How strongly do you agree or disagree:

  1. Within [Organisation/Program], we use our data to consistently track the quality and effectiveness of our work
  2. [Organisation/Program] staff have access to useful summary reports drawn from the data we collect
  3. [Organisation/Program] actively uses evidence to improve services and make strategic decisions
  4. [Organisation/Program] is readily able to demonstrate the impact of our work to external audiences

12. How would you like to see data being used within [Organisation/Program]?

Team culture

The culture of teams can play a role in how well Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) processes work.

13. How strongly do you agree or disagree:

  1. [Organisation/Program] has a strong emphasis on learning and improvement
  2. Within [Organisation/Program], we discuss success stories relating to our work and analyse them to strengthen practice
  3. Within [Organisation/Program], it feels safe for staff to discuss mistakes and poor outcomes openly and to learn from them

14. How could [Organisation/Program]'s culture better support reflection and learning?

Overall reflections

15. What are the main strengths of [Organisation/Program] in monitoring, evaluation and learning?

16. What would you like to see happen next with monitoring, evaluation and learning in [Organisation/Program]?

Thank you

Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts about [Organisation/Program]'s level of evaluation capacity. Your input will help shape how M&E develops within the team.


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Suggested citation

Planigale, M. 2021. Evaluation Needs Assessment: Staff survey template. Melbourne: Lirata Ltd.

About the author

Photo of Mark Planigale
Mark Planigale
Mark is a high-profile consultant who led Lirata's work between 2010-2023. Mark combines expertise in research and evaluation, organisational development, social work practice, IT and social justice advocacy.

Assistance with evaluation capacity building

Lirata Ltd assists service providers, advocacy organisations and funders to build their MEL capacity and undertake effective monitoring and evaluation.

We assist organisations to undertake Evaluation Needs Assessments and to develop and implement program and project logic, Theories of Change and MEL Frameworks. We provide training and mentoring in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.

For further information or assistance, please contact the Lirata team.

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