Not according to Blake Lambert and Wendy Glauser who write about Canadian NGOs:
Part of the reason NGOs have difficulty meeting their overall goals is that they often end up measuring day-to-day results rather than long-term progress. As Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist and political economist who’s currently on fellowship at Stanford University, puts it, they measure “inputs rather than outputs.” If an NGO is planning to free up women’s time from domestic labour, for example, instead of measuring how much time they are spending cooking and cleaning, they might typically count how many women attended their last job-training session. “An NGO will say it’s trained 50 farmers in agricultural techniques,” Mwenda says, “but it won’t say whether that has led to an increase in production.”
I don’t think this is a problem confined to NGOs. The problem that many NGOs share with us in government is that there is no feedback loop from those whom we are supposed to be helping. Our accountability is to our donors (or taxpayers) who do not have first hand knowledge of whether we are delivering what we should.
More at Blake Lambert’s blog.