Monitor & Evaluate Your Impact

REl event at Glance

Who We Are

The Research, Evaluation and Learning (REL) Unit at the Institute of International Education (IIE) combines in-house evaluation expertise with leading minds from around the world to conduct timely and relevant needs assessments, formative evaluations, and impact studies to measure the effects of scholarship, fellowship, and leadership programs. The REL Unit provides holistic research and evaluation services to domestic and international governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and corporations.

We are committed to the highest standards of scientific integrity, impartiality, and objectivity.

REL Event

Evaluation Capabilities

Our evaluations measure impact in a holistic way by understanding the outcomes of key interventions on beneficiaries, communities, and policy and programming.

How We Measure Impact Of ....

Individual Pathways IIE has adapted Donald Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation to assess change resulting from an educational or leadership experience. We map individual pathways to organizational and community-level change, and by adding a fifth level that measures societal-level change over time.

Networks Professional and personal networks are created as part of scholarship and capacity-building programs. We use Social Network Analysis (SNA) to map participant and program networks, using advanced analysis to study how networks change as a result of program efforts.

Advocacy Campaigns IIE has experience measuring the impact of advocacy efforts of programs, including campaigns, legislation, and other policy-related interventions. We have worked with clients to define advocacy impact on organizations, communities, and broader society and establish metrics on how they measure advocacy.

Evaluation Expertise


Needs Assessments and Baseline Studies IIE specializes in providing deep contextual analysis to identify underlying problems and determine and address the needs of an intervention. We use inclusive practices to map out problem and objectives trees and goals prior to program start.

Theory of Change (ToC) and Logic Models In collaboration with our clients, IIE maps out and visualizes logical descriptions of program interventions, as well as associated logic models and indicator frameworks. ToC and Logic Models can be developed at the beginning of a project or during implementation.

Setting Up a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System IIE provides services related to ongoing monitoring systems, setting up M&E plans, data collection techniques, and drafting instruments, aswell as simple techniques to analyze and present data.

Longitudinal Impact and Tracking Studies IIE has proven experience designing and implementing longitudinal studies to measure the impacts of education and development interventions over time. These assessments are frequently implemented after the conclusion of a program, and often require expertise in alumni engagement, longitudinal research design, and panel studies.

Participatory Evaluations Many of IIE’s evaluations focus on social justice, women and girls, or marginalized populations. As a result, we often introduce social justice techniques into our evaluation practices and use participatory and equity-focused methods to include beneficiaries in evaluation design and analysis.

Photovoice IIE uses participatory photography (photovoice) to engage participants, better understand their contexts, and visually demonstrate program impact to program funders. The methodology can also be applied at the needs assessment or baseline program stages to help focus the programming. Facilitated discussions surrounding the photos encourage participants to share and learn about each other’s lives and work and reflect on how programs relate to their experiences.

Outcome Harvesting IIE has worked with clients whose programs take place in complex environments or have unclear pathways to the impact they are intending to track. In these cases, we have employed outcome harvesting, an evaluation technique that allows us to work backwards from impact to the distinct program components that have contributed to that change. This can take place at any point in the program implementation process and be used as a design tool.


Program Areas of Expertise


Leadership Development The IIE Leadership Matrix identifies key competencies related to leadership development. To date, we have conducted leadership-focused evaluations across several sectors: education, STEM, maternal- and reproductive health, women and girls, interreligious dialogue, social justice, and advocacy.

International Fellowships and Scholarships Our evaluation work focuses primarily on assessing the effectiveness of international fellowship and scholarship programs that benefit undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and mid-career professionals.

Faculty Exchange and Diaspora We have conducted several evaluations of professional exchange programs that focused on academics and faculty.

Institutional Partnerships We have mapped the outcomes of institutional partnerships in research and higher education, including potential outcomes on the institutions’ capacity, sustained joint research, faculty and students, and network building.

Women and Girls Our evaluations that focus on women and girls include secondary education pathways programs, such as IIE’s Higher Education Readiness program, as well as women’s leadership and professional programs for undergraduate and graduate education.

Global Workforce Development IIE works with sponsors and local partners to create and deliver customized global workforce development and internship programs aimed at providing youth with work, training, and education opportunities in a variety of STEM, skilled, or technical fields.

Scholarship Management IIE offers a suite of scholarship management services, which are customizable for each sponsor to fulfill their vision and meet their goals including: program design, monitoring support and impact and evaluation. We work closely with clients to develop evaluation and assessment framework to holistically measure and inform program design and processes.

To read and learn more about our evaluation reports, please visit IIE Publications and Evaluation and Program Studies sections.

Please contact us at for more information about our Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) services.

REL in action