Welcome to Designing Qualitative Research for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)!
In this 2.5-hour course, you will learn how to design and plan for a rigorous qualitative study or routine monitoring activity using the step-by-step guidance provided by the Qualitative Inquiry Planning Sheet (QuIPS). 
After completing this course, you will be able to:
  • design a qualitative inquiry that aligns with your project’s existing knowledge and evidence gaps;
  • identify the appropriate qualitative methodology and sampling for your research;
  • develop a plan for data collection, management, and analysis;
  • address research limitations, risks, and your ethical review; and
  • create a plan for engaging key stakeholders in the design and dissemination of findings.
Developed by IDEAL in close partnership with the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), this course is based on the Qualitative Design Toolkit, which focuses its guidance on completing the QuIPS. 
The toolkit and the course cover the same material but offer different learning experiences. By taking this course, you’ll be able to explore the material in a much more interactive way.

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Is this course for me?
This course is designed to support monitoring and evaluation (M&E) staff who want to improve the activities they work on using rigorous qualitative inquiry. This course is open to all implementers working on donor-funded projects.

However, because this course builds on the USAID/BHA Technical Guidance for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting for Resilience F
ood Security Activities, staff of BHA-funded activities will find it especially useful.

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How will I benefit from this course?
You can benefit in many ways, depending on your situation. Here are some examples:

  1. You can improve your overall understanding of how to design and conduct rigorous qualitative research by going through all the modules.
  2. You can use the course as a guide for completing the QuIPS.
  3. If you are currently working on a survey or study, you can jump to the section that is most relevant to your current information needs. 

  4. If you just want a refresher on a specific topic, you can skip ahead to that module.

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How long will it take?
 This course should take about 2.5 hours to complete.
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How much does it cost?
 This course is free!
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Will I get a certificate at the end?
 Yes, you will be able to download a certificate once you have have completed all of the modules within the course.
The word START and a question mark in a circleHow do I start?
 Scroll to the top of the page and click on the     I agree -  Join course       button. This will take you through to the course content. You don't need to complete the course in one go - you can always continue later from where you left off.

For additional M&E resources, visit the FSN Network's M&E Collections page. 


This e-course was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis, and Learning (IDEAL) activity and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the U.S. Government.

IDEAL is funded by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), which contributes to the U.S. Government's goal of improving food and nutrition security among the world's most vulnerable households and communities. IDEAL strengthens the capacity of the food security community to deliver emergency and non-emergency food security activities that achieve results.

Data Protection and Consent

This course was created and is administered by IDEAL. By joining this course you are consenting to IDEAL being given access to your Kaya profile information, including your name and email address, so that they can provide the course. This may require them to contact you. Your data will be anonymized before it is used for any analysis or reporting purposes. If you have any questions about this, please email info@fsnnetwork.org.