top of page
EN Co-funded by the EU_POS (3).jpg


Monitoring and Evaluation Manual for

Sport-for-Employability Programmes


Follow us

  • LinkedIn

Objective of the Project

The objective of the MONITOR project is to develop a user-friendly manual that will help sports-based organisations to increase the level of employability of the young people they work with. Previous research has shown that there is a need for a general monitoring and evaluation (M&E) toolkit for ‘sport-for-employability’ organisations. The manual will enable these organisations to work in a more efficient and effective way for delivering their programmes. It will help them to design and organise sport-for-employability programmes more systematically and will provide them with a clear understanding on how to measure the outcomes and impact. As such, it will result in providing optimal opportunities for skill development for young people enabling them to look and find sustained employment, to continue further education and/or to gain accredited qualification. The manual is produced through study visits and workshops at six different sport-for-employability organisations.  

study visits.png

The M&E Manual

The M&E Manual, which is based on a theory of change approach, includes guidance on how to define soft skill developmental outcomes and impact, a set of validated tools for impact measurement of these skills, as well as information on how to administer and analyse the data.


The MONITOR Manual is targeted at the needs of practitioners and is relevant to various organisations:


  • It assists those currently using sport as a development tool to define and achieve relevant employability outcomes for their participants and to reflect critically on their practice and undertake relevant M&E.

  • It is relevant to organisations considering the development of such programmes as it will enable them to develop relevant theories of change and M&E strategies.

Preview the Manual

The manual contains 10 different sections. Below, each section is explained briefly.

Curious for more? Open a section for a preview.


Section 1


The Purpose of the Manual

This section provides a general introduction to the Manual and offers definitions of key terms central to M&E – Outcomes, Impacts, Monitoring, Evaluation, Summative and Formative Evaluation.

Section 2


Defining Employability and the Nature of Outcomes

This section explores issues relating to the definition of the ambiguous term 'employability'. It distinguishes between hard and soft skills and outlines research-based and employer-defined components of employability.

Section 3


Sport and Employability: A Continuum of Programmes

This section emphasises that sport on its own will make a limited contribution to developing employability and that sport needs to be amended and/or supported with other activities and workshops. It outlines a continuum of approaches, based on the mixture of sport and other activities – Plus Sport, Sport Plus 1 and Sport Plus 2. It also examines the importance of the social climate of such programmes and the central role of mentoring. 

Section 4


Logic Models and Theories of Change

This section provides an outline of the strengths and weaknesses of the widely used descriptive logic model approach. It then examines the nature and strengths of a more explanatory theory of change approach and the importance of defining and explaining the assumptions underlying a programme. 

Section 5


Developing a Theory of Change for Sport and Employability

This section outlines in detail the process of developing a detailed theory of change for sport and employability (based on previous research). It also provides two types of graphical presentation.

Section 6


M&E: Methods of Data Collection

This section describes the strengths and weaknesses of a range of methods of data collection from programme participants (including surveys, group discussions, observations and mentoring). It also addresses the issue of social desirability bias in responses.

Section 7


Defining and Measuring Outcomes

This section defines a series of relevant outcomes and provides scales with which to measure them and explains how to interpret the data. It emphasises the important differences between validated and non-validated scales. The scales are provided in Appendix 1 of the M&E Manual. 

Section 8


Social Profile Data and Questionnaire Design

This section outlines the nature of the socio-demographic data required to describe your participants and which might account for differences in responses to the various scales. It also provides some advice on the design and administration of self-completion and interviewer-administered questionnaires.

Section 9

Data Analysis


This section explains the approach to handling, processing, analysing and reporting survey findings, based on Excel spreadsheets. It provides information and instructions on (1) General Data Protection Regulations; (2) Processing survey data using the Excel files; (3) Reporting survey findings; and (4) Processing data for other scales. This section is supported by an M&E video explaining data analysis. 

Section 10

Reporting Data


This section provides a general indicative structure for reporting to funders on programme performance. Although many funders have required reporting formats, we have provided this to aid your thinking about M&E and reporting. With regard to the content of such reporting, we have drawn on the requirements of Comic Relief, a major UK-based funder, for end of project reporting.



The MONITOR project is a collaborative partnership, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and coordinated by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) with input and expertise from different sport-for-employability partners (Street League, Sport 4 Life, Oltalom, Rheinflanke, Rotterdam Sportsupport, and Magic Bus), and executed with assistance from ENGSO Youth and with support from ILO.  


Webinar & Conference

On 25 May 2021 a webinar on Sport & Employability was organised to introduce our Monitoring & Evaluation Manual. During the past two years, our collaborative partnership, funded by the Erasmus+ Programme has been working hard to produce a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Manual. Previous research has shown that there is a need for a general monitoring and evaluation (M&E) toolkit for ‘sport-for-employability’ organisations. The M&E Manual that includes guidance on how to define soft skill developmental outcomes and impact, a set of validated tools for impact measurement of these skills, as well as information on how to administer and analyse the data.

The PowerPoint slides that were presented by prof. Marc Theeboom and prof. Fred Coalter during the MONITOR webinar can be accessed here. The webinar recording is also available.  


On 17 June 2021 a conference on Sport for Employability for young NEETS was organised. The purpose of the conference was to reflect on the potential of a variety of approached to 'sport for employability' targeting young NEETS and to address relevant policy issues on this topic. The recording of the policy debate is available. 

bottom of page