Can I Change an Indicator Definition?

Short answer: No. If you need to make a substantive change to an indicator's definition, you must make a new indicator.

Substantive changes to indicator definitions include:

  • Data Source
  • Indicator Type
  • Disaggregation
  • Reporting Level
  • "Results are reported separately for each activity"
Changing any of these fields will delete all existing indicator results for that indicator. If you try to make any of these changes, you'll see a pop-up with this warning: "Changing the indicator definition will result in the existing data being deleted, are you sure you want to continue? Deleted data cannot be recovered."

Why can't you change this information for existing indicators?

An indicator's definition creates the rows and columns of the behind-the-scenes tables that store your indicator results. If you get rid of a column that stores your data, you get rid of the data, too. For example, if you have reported non-disaggregated data for an indicator and want to switch to disaggregated data, there's nowhere to put the non-disaggregated results.

What changes to an indicator are ok?

Changes to the name, codes, and text descriptions of indicators are ok. It's a question of M&E, not software capability, as to whether or not a descriptive change invalidates comparisons between data collected before and after such changes. Possible descriptive changes in DevResults include the sections on the indicator definition page for:

  • Definition (Name, Code, Reference #, Active?, Definition) See this page for instructions on how to update this information.
  • Classification (Results Framework, Sectors, Tags)
  • Justification
  • Data Acquisition (Collection Method, Sources, Acquisition Frequency)
  • Data Quality (Limitations, Quality Notes)
  • Data Analysis, Review, and Reporting (Analysis, Review, Reporting)
Didn't answer your question? Please email us at