Which are the Best Online M&E Tools for Remote Assessments

Are you looking for the best online research tools for remote assessments and surveys?  In this guide, we will compare the best online M&E tools for remote data collection and processing. You will also learn the benefits of digital assessments compared to the conventional face-to-face ones. Finally, the post concludes with the key factors for you to consider while choosing the best M&E online tools for your organization

M&E is the most crucial part of your project or program management. It ultimately helps you to improve project outcomes and better utilize resources. Other benefits of M&E are to track progress, assess effectiveness, and ensure accountability for your investments. As a manager, M&E provides you data-driven insights for informed decision making, optimizing resource allocation, and reporting the impact of your actions to all stakeholders.

However, conducting assessments is time consuming and involve complex and risky logistics. Luckily, with the rise of remote working and use of digital tools, online or digital M&E practices is a necessary innovation to adopt today.  This guide explains these further.

Are Online Assessments Cheaper for you?

Smilling woman using a macbook PC
Remote assessment benefits include reduced travel, time, materials and logistics costs

Is your organization considering switching from in person interviews and surveys to virtual ones.  Here are the top six benefits of conducting your project and customer surveys online rather than in person. They include time and cost savings as well as improving your accuracy and security in data handing.  These advantages justify the adoption of remote assessments in various contexts:

  1. Cost-Efficiency: Remote assessments save money by eliminating travel and material costs, making them budget-friendly.
  2. Time Savings: Virtual surveys are quicker, offering real-time data collection and analysis, enabling faster decision-making. Besides, you can have real time access and analysis allowing rapid response and decision-making.
  3. Broad Geographic Reach: Remote assessments cover hard-to-reach areas due to weather, terrain or weather concerns, providing you a comprehensive view of the situation. Broader audience reach can allow for a more representative sample of wider population.
  4. Enhanced Safety: Virtual surveys eliminates the need for your staff to be physically present in flood, war or disease outbreak zones thus ensuring their safety, security and health in hazardous situations.
  5. Improved Data Quality: Automated checks in remote assessment tools reduce errors, ensuring more accurate data collection
  6. Data Security: Many remote assessment platforms offer robust data security measures, protecting sensitive information from loss or theft. Encryption and secure data transmission are standard features.

What are the Top M&E tools for mobile data collection in 2023

african-man-filling-survey-poll on an online survey tool and mobile app
The top mobile apps for data collection and surveying are KoboToolbox. ODK Collect and Social media surveys such as Whatsapp or X.

Are you searching for the best research tools for developing questionnaires, data collection and data analysis? According to feedback from reputable M&E consultants and staff, here are the top 5 mobile apps for you to consider.


KoboToolbox is an open-source platform that allows you to create, deploy, and manage surveys and data collection forms. It offers offline data collection capabilities, making it suitable for areas with limited connectivity. KoboToolbox can be accessed through web browsers and also has an Android app for mobile data collection. It supports various question types, including multimedia questions for photos and audio recordings.

ODK Collect:

ODK (Open Data Kit) Collect is another open-source tool designed for mobile data collection. It allows you to create customized surveys and forms, and it works offline, syncing data when an internet connection is available. ODK Collect is known for its flexibility and is widely used in humanitarian and development projects.


CommCare is a mobile data collection platform designed for low-resource settings. It’s particularly suitable for health and social programs but can be adapted for various purposes. CommCare includes a mobile app for data collection, which can run on Android devices. It offers offline data entry and supports multimedia features.


 SurveyCTO is a commercial platform that offers advanced survey design and data collection capabilities. While it is a paid service, it provides features like offline data collection, robust data quality checks, and seamless mobile phone integration. SurveyCTO’s interface is user-friendly and doesn’t require extensive technical expertise.


Magpi is another commercial platform that offers mobile data collection and remote monitoring. It supports both online and offline data collection and is accessible via a mobile app. Magpi is known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface, making it suitable for field staff with varying levels of technical expertise.

WhatsApp and Social Media Surveys

In regions with limited access to technologies and connectivity, you can consider using WhatsApp or other social media surveys using Facebook or X (formerly Twitter). These platforms allow you to send surveys and collect responses. While they may have limitations in terms of survey complexity, they are highly accessible and cost-effective.

What are the top M&E tools for conducting online surveys

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SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are the most popular online survey tools in Kenya.

Are you looking for the best online survey tool? Several free choices that are suitable for remote assessments. Your choice will depend on your specific needs and available budget.

SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are the most popular survey tools in Kenya. Both gives you a good balance of features and affordability. Typeform is a great option if you want to create engaging and interactive surveys, while Qualtrics and SurveyGizmo are great choices for more advanced data analysis and integration with other platforms. We further compare them as follows


SurveyMonkey is a popular online survey tool that can be used for remote assessments. It offers a wide range of question types, including multiple choice, open-ended, and rating scales. SurveyMonkey also offers robust data analysis features and integration with other platforms, making it a great choice for remote assessments.

Google Forms:

Google Forms is a free tool that can be used for remote assessments. It offers a simple and user-friendly interface and allows users to create surveys and quizzes with a variety of question types. Google Forms also allows for easy data collection and analysis, and it can be integrated with other Google tools such as Google Sheets for further analysis.


Typeform is an online tool that can be used for remote assessments. It offers a sleek and modern interface, and it allows users to create interactive and engaging surveys. Typeform also offers data analysis features, and it can be integrated with other platforms such as Google Sheets and Salesforce.


 Qualtrics is an online tool that can be used for remote assessments. It offers a wide range of question types and advanced data analysis features. Qualtrics also has a large library of pre-built survey templates, making it easy to get started with remote assessments.


SurveyGizmo is an online tool that can be used for remote assessments. It offers a wide range of question types, and it also offers advanced data analysis features. SurveyGizmo also has a large library of pre-built survey templates and it can be integrated with other platforms such as Salesforce and Marketo.

How to choose the best M&E Tools

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The Tool features such as ability to create detailed reports and visualizations is a key decision making criteria.

This guide has given you over 10 online research and M&E tools. If you are in the process of digitizing your M&E and donor reporting processes, here are the key factors to consider when choosing your m&e tools;

  1. Tool Features; The M&E tool should be able to easily collect data from various sources, and offer robust data analysis features such as ability to create detailed reports and visualizations of the data collected. This will ensure that you can accurately monitor and evaluate your project or program and seamlessly report and communicate with your stakeholders.
  2. Integration: The tool should be able to integrate with other platforms and tools that you are already using. This will help streamline your workflow and make it easier to manage your M&E efforts.
  3. User-friendliness; The online M&E tool should have an easy-to-use interface that allows you to quickly and easily set up and run M&E activities. Besides, you should access a good technical support team that can help you with any issues that you may encounter.
  4. Cost and Scalability: The tool should be within your budget and offer a good balance of features and affordability. Besides, it should handle and manage large amounts of data and be able to scale with your project or program growth.
  5. Security: The tool should have robust security features to ensure that your data is protected and kept confidential.

Ultimately, the best M&E tools for you will depend on your specific needs and budget. It’s important to carefully evaluate each tool and its features to ensure that it will meet your requirements and help you effectively monitor and evaluate your project or program.

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