Baseline Intervention Impact Monitor (BIIM) UniSearch De Wet Schutte-UniSearch Community Development Consultants


UniSearch Community Development Consultants

Baseline Intervention Impact Monitor (BIIM)



The BIIM goes beyond the conventional project management indicators such as the number of housing loans closed, the number of housing units built, the amount of commercial square footage developed, the numbers of train, bus and taxi commuters transported, etc. The need to determine how much the different factors and trends that are to be impacted upon, are currently happening in the targeted community in the first place. The absence of a baseline measurement is probably one of the most important reasons why local authorities always have to defend shortfalls in their service delivery, as no baseline information exists to indicate/prove to the target community how service delivery has improved. In such circumstances good and efficient work by many local authorities are seldom recognised, as they always have to deal with a moving target of demands in the absence of baseline information to understand what the circumstances were where they (the community) came from. It must also be accepted that the sustainability of a community intervention project cannot be determined from the outset. Yes, we make informed predictions about the possible sustainability of an intervention project based upon current available scientifically based knowledge and often sheer logic, or even a gut feeling. However, the sustainability of any community intervention project simply demands a (i) time-lapse, (ii) baseline and (ii) evaluation measurement. In such circumstances, the UniSearch BIIM can is also a sustainability measurement to determine the longevity of the effect of a community intervention project, i.e. one year later in the same targeted community to fathom the progress or regress in the effect of the development intervention in the target community.


VergrootglasYears of practical experience in community development research and consulting highlighted that the failure of many development projects in communities are not primarily because of poor project management, but rather the poor available information base that the project managers have to work with. This holds particularly true for multidisciplinary projects and it is concluded that the following information can be considered as indispensable for the successful planning and execution of any sustainable development project: Information that gives a true reflection of people’s needs in the community by the community themselves. Baseline information that can be presented in such a way as to be accessible for further interpretation and implementation by specialists from diverse backgrounds (engineers and social workers alike). A process that is not as time-consuming compared to the survey procedure with random sampling technique. Information that is both quantitative and qualitative. To enhance the validity and reliability of the information, the same data collection technique should be used for literate as well as illiterate respondents. Informed by the Basic Needs theory for community development (Schutte, 2015) and the availability of a unique data collection instrument (Social Science Accessory: Pat. No. 87/5296), it was possible to integrate the demands of the above five criteria into the development of this unique UniSearch BIIM. This instrument fulfils the purposes of both a (i) baseline measuring instrument by measuring needs using both quantitative and qualitative measurements to reflect the status quo in a community and (ii) a monitoring/ evaluation instrument to reflect progress and/or the level of success achieved in a community with a specific project. This scientifically-based instrument can be used to standardise inputs for project evaluation reports for donors and local authorities, as well as institutions like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with its numerous projects all over the world.


The UniSearch BIIM integrates four complementary data collection techniques: Associative Group Analysis (AGA). Priority Index (P-Index) of needs in targeted communities. Community Index (C-Index) of perceptions regarding the 15 building blocks that make any community. Photographic Gestalt composed from strategically decided upon coordinates at eye-level in intervention targeted areas. image 004ASSOCIATIVE GROUP ANALYSIS (AGA): By using this instrument, it is possible to reconstruct the users’ active mental models to give a better understanding of the difference in the current and ideal living domains of people that uses the identified geographic space, with the aim to integrate this knowledge into the perceptual reality which they use to make sense of, and understand the environment they operate within.

UntitledPRIORITY INDEX OF NEEDS: The P-Index was specifically designed to prioritise the needs within communities or other target groups. It is aimed at (i) determining the actual needs of the community at a given point in time, (ii) ranking them in order of importance, (iii) without being paternalistic, (iv) in such a way as to reflect the real differences in urgency between the needs represented by the various items. Also, (v) illiterate, semi-literate, and highly educated individuals can all be used as respondents, and (vi) their opinions are all measured with equal validity.

THE COMMUNITY INDEX (C-INDEX) AS BASELINE MEASUREMENT: The C-Index claims to be the only truly holistic and values free measuring instrument that can accommodate and quantify responses from both literate and illiterate respondents and which can be used across cultures with the same level of validity. The information reflected in the C-Index is vital for any sustainable development programme, as it serves as the monitoring tool with a baseline from which change in the target community could be monitored with consecutive measurements as a result of intervention programmes.

C-IndexPHOTOGRAPHIC GESTALT: The Photographic Gestalt entails a systematic compilation of pictures to present a visual reflection for gestalt analysis of the current situation linked to a specific proposed intervention project in a targeted community. It consists of photographs that inform the reader of the current (and changed) visual impact taken from carefully selected predetermined coordinates taken at eye level (not drone) to reflect the visual information that impacts on the perceptions of the people using the geographical space and as measured in the AGA, P- and C-Indices. Coordinates are predetermined with the project team and post-intervention photo’s reconstruct the identified geographical space taken at the same (i) day, (ii) time (iii) position and (iv) direction as during the baseline photos.

Development Project 1: Preintervention)
Coordinates: Latitude: -34.109372/Longitude: 18.823993
 Date: XX/XX/2020 - Time: image 008XX:XX

Development Project 1: (Post-intervention)

Coordinates: Latitude: -34.109372/Longitude: 18.823993
 Date: XX/XX/2020 - Time: image 008XX:XX

For any further information about this product or to require our services, do not hesitate to contact De Wet Schutte at UniSearch. Cell phone: +27 027848368 Email: