In any project, it is important to measure outputs: number of trainings, number of people trained, number of loans given out, number of latrines built, etc. But we should also go beyond numbers to measure change, to demonstrate the deeper outcomes and impact of a project. For example: what knowledge, skills, and attitudes did participants acquire as part of training, and how do they apply these knowledge, skills, and attitudes post-training? And going even deeper: is there a “ripple effect” from these activities, over time and at various levels? Are there changes across generations, at a personal, family, community, regional, national, and global level?
At the moment, I am in charge of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for “A Stronger México: Pillars of Positive Peace Workshop,” a global grant project between the Rotary Foundation, the Institute for Economics and Peace, and Rotary District 4185 in Mexico. This global grant provided funding for a 2-day training of more than 300 youth leaders from every state in Mexico on IEP’s groundbreaking peace measurement tools, specifically their pillars of positive peace. Based on the project’s goal (strengthen youth positive peace leadership in Mexico), I:
- Defined the outputs and outcomes and related impact indicators in the short-, mid-, and long-term
- Determined how indicators will be calculated/measured
- Identified sources and methods of collecting data (how), and the related frequency (how often)
I am currently conducting surveys of participants and will collect information in the form of interviews, photos, stories between now and the end of the project period (December 2017), when I’ll evaluate and report on the project. I’ve designed my monitoring tools to provide useful information and data–compelling proof for why this project could and should be replicated. So that this information can be referred to in years to come to provide a baseline for the possible long-term “ripple effects” caused by this training, which might include:
- District and global grant applications from Mexico;
- Youth leaders that go on to obtain Rotary Peace Fellowships or other scholarship;
- Changes in regional issues related to peace, conflict resolution, and social development;
- And even the active transformation of Mexico, into a stronger and more peaceful society.
This is all possible, and we can dream big with projects like this. But in order to make this dream a reality, and to show how Rotary helped accomplish it—we need monitoring and evaluation. M&E provides a systematic way to document and demonstrate the impact of the work Rotary is doing.
As a Rotary Peace Fellow and a professional trained in project management and impact measurement, it is an honor to be able to offer my professional services in monitoring and evaluation to help Rotary prove its impact. Contact me to find out how I can support your club in designing a stellar project and demonstrating its impact to Rotary and beyond.