Global Grassroots evaluates the effectiveness of its Academy for Conscious Change in both delivering hard skills and improving the wellbeing of women, in terms of the number of successful ventures launched and their positive social impact. To measure the impact of our trainings, we evaluate knowledge comprehension as applied by teams throughout the project development phase. We make adjustments to our program design and offer additional workshops and tools to improve the clarity, depth and breadth of our material. Once the ventures are operational, we continue to assess areas of need related to venture management so we can provide ongoing support and incorporate new material into our training and advisory support.
To ensure the success of our chosen projects, Global Grassroots evaluates each venture's development plan for long-term sustainability and social impact prior to selection for seed funding. Each project also has built into their design impact goals and evaluation measures specific to their social issue. Over twelve months, teams submit regular reports on their progress, challenges and needs. Our staff visits projects monthly throughout the year, assessing progress and providing ongoing advisory services.
Following are the specific evaluation metrics used to assess our progress on each objective:
|By the end of one year, all participants will raise their wellbeing by 50%.||Standard of living improvements: measured in terms of the number of meals a family eats daily, frequency of eating meat, percentage of children able to afford to go to school, amount spent on rent, perceived lack of wellbeing or difficulty of standard of living and happiness.|
|By the end of 12 months after project launch, the participants' sense of power has increased by 75%.||Improvements in emotional sense of wellbeing, personal power and capacity to create change: measured in terms of sense of power to change personal circumstances, family circumstances and community circumstances, participation in local decision-making, sense of own capacity and responsibility to create change, perception of women's power, sense of purpose and value to community.|
|At the end of 12 months of project oversight, 80% of funded ventures are operating sustainably.||The number of social ventures launched that are operating sustainably: able to generate the resources necessary to operate at full capacity, obtaining financing from third parties, innovation of creative resourcing strategies, ability to support venture from own citizen base.|
|That at the end of 12 months, all projects operating sustainably are having a measurable social impact at the root level of the social issue they are designed to address, affecting women. Teams will also have applied their social venture skills to solve new community issues and/or replicated their work, maintained their commitment to personal transformation practice, and passed along skills, tools or practices to others within their communities||The degree to which each social venture is meeting its own program and outcome objectives to create a social impact at the root level of its issue according to its theory of change, as measured by its own evaluation metrics. The degree to which each social venture has used their skills to solve new problems or teach other members of the community their skills.|
|By the end of 12 months, 75% of teams have acquired advanced project planning and non-profit management skills, which have been deemed sufficient to launch their own social projects.||Number of teams launched; level of team non-profit management capacity and conscious leadership capacity as exhibited through impact and sustainability of project operations, strength of project team, degree of conflict in decision-making, other challenges and accomplishments.|
|To maximize social value creation and productivity by having the broadest/deepest impact possible for the chosen level of financial investment.||The number of individuals served and/or lives positively impacted by our Academy program and our projects, including ripple effect.|
|To support conscious leadership, including the use of contemplative practice to inform decision-making, support work-life balance, maintain connection to grassroots need, avoid ego-driven attachment to agenda, power or publicity.||Number of practices that were taught in the training and continue to be used or taught by team members; areas of need indicated by conflict, poor decision-making, burn-out, unhealthy competitiveness, or ego-driven attachment to agenda, power or publicity.|
|To build the systems, tools, networks and support structures that will catalyze the ongoing growth of communities of conscious social change agents.||Degree of team collaboration, sense of belonging to Global Grassroots and positive view of fellowship, number of spin-off ventures and/or use of program skills to address new community issues, level of sharing of training program skills in team activities, mentorship between teams, external partnerships, publicity of Global Grassroots and team work, engagement and leadership of team members in community decision-making, grassroots volunteer recruitment; areas of need indicated by patterns of challenges faced by teams.|
Our Impact in 2011
From June - August 2011, Global Grassroots engaged Julia Oakley, a dual Masters student from the Columbia University School of Social Work and School of International and Public Affairs to carry out an independent impact assessment of our work, focusing on 18 programs that have been launched and 8 ventures in development. An excerpt is included below.
Global Grassroots is succeeding in its mission. Through its Academy for Conscious Change and follow-up engagement in Rwanda, Global Grassroots has brought about the development of change agents who are actively promoting social change. Global Grassroots-funded ventures have had a measurable social impact on approximately 32,500 persons in Rwanda. Anecdotal evidence from beneficiaries adds to the body of data supporting positive changes in Rwandan communities around change agent teams' chosen social issues of gender-based violence, reducing violence and disease associated with lack of access to water, girls' sanitation and reproductive health, literacy, and vocational skills and rights trainings for vulnerable populations.
Team members attribute their knowledge of the skills used to start and operate their social ventures to the Global Grassroots training and follow-up. Additionally, many team members look inward and utilize personal consciousness practices taught by Global Grassroots to become self-aware change agents attuned to themselves and the people around them. Global Grassroots participants surveyed reported feeling that, in the period from 2009 to 2011, their lives were less difficult and they themselves were more powerful as individuals, family members, and community members.
Yet opportunities for improvement still exist. Given the rigorous criteria set by Global Grassroots to measure sustainability, the majority of Global Grassroots-funded ventures are not meeting those targets. Some teams remain slow in developing management skills such as creative resourcing, project planning, and bookkeeping. Mind-body trauma healing practices have not resulted in measurable reductions in post-traumatic stress symptoms as measured by the PCL-17 survey. Recommendations for possible ways to address opportunities for improvement are made in the final section of this assessment.
Global Grassroots' strategy of participatory development in fostering the creativity and levering the inner knowledge of local persons is its strongest asset and is the key to sustainable social impact.
Our Impact in 2009
From June - August 2009, Global Grassroots engaged Lydia Humenycky, a Masters student from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University to carry out the initial independent impact assessment of our work, focusing on our 11 social projects operating at that time.
Contact us if you are interested in a copy of the full 2009 Impact Evaluation.
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