Journey #6: Tracking Activities and Monitoring Outputs

Integrating Kinaki into tracking of project activities and monitoring outputs may at first seem overwhelming, or you may not  know where to start. In this learning journey, we will unpack this and guide you through the recommended process in Kinaki for tracking your project activities – including Creating Project Activities, setting up the Activity tracking forms, reviewing the results and making reports that include the status of activities.  

In addition, Kinaki will also excel in monitoring of project output indicators. This is a handy function especially when you are reporting for donors who wish to see activity status side by side with the project output results. For example: like the Output and Activity Reporting Worksheet for projects funded by Global Affairs Canada.

Here is the way we suggest you track your activities in Kinak!


Using Kinaki for Tracking

If it is important for you to see project Activities in the Project Logic, you can list them there – either as a separate branching element or in a prescribed outcome level.

Adding new level (e.g. Activities) from the Project Settings and then create “Activities” as a Result Statement same as you would your Outputs and Outcomes.

You’ll, then, have them populate using the Indicators page. Next, attach Indicators to them in order to create reports.

Now, this is where we come in and suggest an alternative solution:

We know that Indicators for activities themselves aren’t necessary – what you really want to see is the status of those activities, which will correlate with how far you are along to achieving your Project Outputs.

You actually will add them as indicators to your Outputs!

This may sound strange, but trust us: Read through the step-by-step instructions and explanation about how this works in the article on Adding Activities As Indicators.


Indicators & Outputs

Don’t worry: you’ll be able to identify your Outputs as activities separate from your Output Indicators.

You can attach each Output to a specific Data Collection Tool (type: Manual Results Input) and see them clearly laid out in the table found on the Data Collection page.

You can then maneuver through the Questions page to set up what you want to ask in your tracking form, then design the form on the Designer page.

Finally, collect your data using the forms you created. Remember that besides collecting the activity status (e.g. planned, ongoing, completed etc.), you can also collect a short narrative providing more inside into the activity status.

You can then see your results on the Data Management page, rename or edit the datasets, and submit them for analysis.

Creating a new report specifically for your activities will allow you to see things clearly and efficiently.

You can add each “indicator” (activity) one at a time from the Analyze Data page into your Activity Report or add them all at once from Report Settings.

You can also include in your Report either the original or revised (on Analyze Data page) narrative explaining the activity status.


Data Collection & Tracking

The next part of this journey looks at that one level above from Project Activities: how to monitor your Project Outputs in Kinaki.

Defining the Indicators for your Outputs is a really crucial step in your MEAL+ process.

From the Indicators page, you can work on them one at a time in the pop-out box, where you should think through and define key details.

This includes how will you calculate the results for this (Indicator Calculation), and how do you know if the Indicator is met (Indicator Satisfaction). You can add these definitions into custom columns on the Indicators page.

Thinking through these steps will help you determine if you need different Data Collection Tools (DCT) for your Outputs, and how many:

Some Outputs might be grouped together under one DCT – feel free to name this the called Output Tracking – and processed through a form, like your activities. Others may be more complicated, reach different beneficiaries, or need to be collected at different times, and therefore need to be separated out.

Our tutorial videos on Data Collection Tools will help explain when and why you might want or need to do this. As a rule of thumb, Output Indicators that you would traditionally collect data for within one paper or Excel form will likely attached using only one DCT.

Preparing your data for collection or import is important to think about – will you be importing from Excel or from one of the third party apps like Kobo or ODK Collect?

You can also enter results directly through Manual Results Input (in case your data is not available or usable), or of course if you used a form through Kinaki or the online forms.

This decision-making chart may help you to decide which types of DCTs to use:


Analysis & Reports

Analyzing Results for Output Indicators is done on the Analyze Data page, where you can select your indicators, any relevant disaggregation, and any filters of results you may want.

Reporting on your Output Indicators is easy! Simply create the report under the Reports page, and go back to Analyze Data to add each indicator one at a time or open Report Settings under the specific report you want and add all indicators at once from there.

If you made an Output and Activity Report – you can add both your “activity indicators” AND your “output indicators” directly to it – and you’ll see them all clearly laid out for you to organize and adjust as needed.


Next Steps

Make sure you watch our Kinaki tutorials, as well as the Demo Project videos, and you’ll be a pro in no time!

Salanga offers a great online training course in Output Monitoring, so please reach out to us at community@kinaki.ca if this is of interest to you or your organization.


Have you watched our Overview video yet? Or explored the Demo Project video series? Both will give you even better understanding of how Kinaki works, and how you can be most efficient and effective with your time working in Kinaki.


Check out one of our other Learning Journeys if you want to follow along more! 

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