Figure 17: Some considerations for setting indicators.

Indicators should track development and implementation of National Action Plans, in terms of effectiveness, quality, conflict and gender sensitivity:

  • The NAP for PVE reflects a shared understanding of the PVE problem, and this understanding is made available and disseminated to all engaged in the process.
  • The NAP for PVE adheres to human rights principles and is gender and conflict sensitive.
  • A communications plan is developed for the NAP for PVE.
  • A multi-stakeholder monitoring mechanism for NAP implementation is established.
  • Number of municipalities with a specific action plan for integrating the PVE is tracked.
  • Number and diversity of stakeholders present – government, CSO and representatives of communities affected by PVE (disaggregated by government department/organisation/affiliation, gender, age, area, etc.) – is tracked.
  • Percentage of people who are aware of the NAP for PVE (disaggregated by gender, age, area, etc.) is tracked.
  • Percentage of people (disaggregated by gender, age, area, etc.) who agree that the NAP for PVE addresses their concerns and priorities (related to security, governance, development, etc.) is tracked.
  • Number of projects that directly address the causes of VE identified in context analysis/research conducted in the development of the NAP is tracked.

Proxy indicators offer an indirect way of assessing whether a change has occurred. For example, where actual participation rates in VE groups are difficult to assess, using prosecution rates for related offences or number of people going through a reintegration programme could be potential proxy indicators for participation in VE groups.

One proxy for increased vulnerability to joining a VE group is physical presence of VE groups mobilising populations in the area. However, not all proxy indicators are equally useful and a risk with using proxy indicators is that they can hide non-linear relationships between the proxy and change. This is especially relevant to PVE programmes working with complex change in dynamic environments.

To mitigate against these risks, avoid over-reliance on too many proxy indicators, ensure that your proxy indicators are relevant to the context, and think through the relationship between the proxy and the change before using it.

Depending on the context, some proxy indicators for youth social marginalisation could include:

  • number of leisure spaces accessible to young people (examine the types of leisure spaces, sports fields or halls, cultural centres, cafes, etc. as different youth would use these differently);
  • frequency of youth participation in social events (explore what type of events, which youth participate and who organises these events);
  • number of youth-led or youth-focused organisations active in the area (what types or groups, their membership, their mission);
  • size and governance of their social networks (who is in these networks, e.g. whether networks cross any social barriers, how they are organised);
  • attitudes of elders towards young people’s role in community life and youth’s own attitudes to their role in community life;
  • percentage of young people in prisons; and
  • percentage of youth unemployment.

In addition, in some contexts, suicide, drug use, truancy or school dropout rates can be indicative of social marginalisation amongst young people, however, these relate to complex social problems and depending on the context, can be influenced by other factors (such as school dropout rates being related to availability of informal employment for school-aged boys).

Testing identified proxy indicators relevant in your context, and combining these with other indicators and validating these with beneficiaries and experts can help ensure that you have chosen the appropriate indicators for the change you are trying to measure.