Glossary of Terms


Information collected by a researcher. Data gathered during an evaluation are manipulated and analyzed to yield findings that serve as the basis for conclusions and recommendations.

Data capture:

A process for achieving the extraction of relevant data while the related transaction or operation is occurring.

Data coding:

An analytical process in which data, in both quantitative form (such as questionnaires results) or qualitative form (such as interview transcripts) are categorized to facilitate analysis.

Data collection:

The systematic approach to gathering and measuring information from a variety of sources to get a complete and accurate picture of an area of interest.

Data Collection Methods:

Techniques used to identify information sources, collect information, and minimize bias during an evaluation.

Data monitoring and reporting:

The process of proactively reviewing and evaluating your data and its quality to ensure that it is fit for purpose. 

Data sources:

The primary location from where data comes.


To make a political or economic situation less strong or safe, by causing changes and problems.

Deliberations (dialog, analysis):

Devise strategy benefits from team members’ knowledge and motivation in ways that organizations in which a “lone ranger” decides strategy cannot.

Delivery (outreach, marketing and scale):

Executing a program that meet the objectives of a project.

Dependent Variable:

Dependent (output, outcome, response) variables, so called because they are “dependent” on the independent variable; the outcome presumably depends on how these input variables are managed or manipulated.


To use something or someone, especially in order to achieve a particular effect.


Methodical procedure of introducing an activity, process, program, or system to all applicable areas of an organization.

Design challenge (problem statement):

A clear description of the issue (problem) which also includes a vision and methods used to make ways into solving the problem. It guides all the activities that follow in the design process.

Design constraints:

The practice of limiting user actions on a system. These include limitations that cannot be controlled and limitations that are self-imposed as a way to improve a design.

Design cycle phase:

The sequence of events leading from idea to finished product.

Design for Policy:

The process of designing which leads to the creation of an appropriate solution, be it a functional product, efficient public service or public policy that genuinely accommodates the perspectives of people on the receiving end.  

Design opportunities:

An appropriate problem that leads to a design.

Design questions:

Formulated questions that reveal themselves as a way to approach a design problem.

Design research:

The cumulative gathering of human experiences and artifacts that is then synthetically processed. This user-focused approach focuses on understanding complex human behavior and turning that into actionable insights to improve design interventions.

Design solution:

A means of solving or satisfying human needs or wants.

Design sprint:

A time-constrained process for solving problems through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas with users.

Design Thinking:

An iterative process in which seeks to understand the users, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. It provides a solution-based approach to solving problems.


In tactical operations, the perception of an object of possible military interest but unconfirmed by recognition.

Develop (design)

To design, create, or improve an object or idea.

Dialogue interview:

A face-to-face discussion between an interviewer and participant.

Digital focus group:

A marketing research technique for qualitative data that involves a small group of people (6-10) that share a common set characteristics (demographics, attitudes, etc.) and participate in a discussion of predetermined topics led by a moderator with the use of an online system. 


A design phase that focuses on identifying and defining a root problem affecting users.


To get rid of a system or organization, usually over a period of time.


To prevent something, especially a system, process, or event, from continuing as usual or as expected.

Disruptive (or Disruption):

An approach to understandings, evolving and solving complex problems. It employs systems thinking, sustainability, cognitive and behavioral sciences along with ideation and design thinking to create activated approaches for making a positive impact on the planet.

Dissemination Research:

A planned process that involves consideration of target audiences and the settings in which research findings are to be received and, where appropriate, communicating and interacting with wider policy and health service audiences in ways that will facilitate research uptake in decision-making processes and practice.

Due diligence:

An investigation or audit of a potential investment or product to confirm all facts, such as reviewing all financial records