Even though the Binaytara Foundation has been around since 2007, we did not have any structured feedback loops in place until 2015. We relied on our partners and volunteers to give us informal feedback verbally or via email, and then made changes to our projects based on that feedback. In 2015 we started a feedback system, with help from GlobalGiving’s Feedback Fund.
We’d realized we needed a structured feedback loop and impact assessment for a long time. But we were not sure where to start. We chose to use GlobalGiving’s storytelling method as our approach with the Home Hospice program in Nepal. We created the story form and trained the volunteers to interview families of terminally ill patients about their experience taking care of their dying loved ones.
Volunteers visited some families in their homes as well as collected stories from the family members of patients admitted at a cancer hospital in Nepal.
The easy part:
- Scale-able process: We were able to collect many stories from family members of patients admitted to the hospital. That saved time for the volunteers as they could collect many stories at a time and did not need to travel to individual patients’ homes to collect the stories.
- We were also able to collect a handful of stories online through the story form link from GlobalGiving.
- We tried using audio recordings in person, and later transcribing stories to save time.
- Most people refused to have their audio recorded so the interview process was long, and transcribing while listening was a challenge for the volunteers.
- With the current political unrest and other crisis going on in Nepal (e.g. 2015 Earthquake), it was difficult for volunteers to travel to patients’ homes to collect stories.
The aha! moment:
Our deeper insight about systematic listening has to do with how we listen. Stories like these are very personal and emotional to most of us. Many people did not want to share their feelings or emotions about the situation with strangers. Other times, volunteers found themselves in uncomfortable situation due to the emotional nature of the subject matter being discussed.
Going Forward, we learned that when we select volunteers to go to individuals and discuss intimate and emotional issues like these, we need to make sure the volunteers show care, respect the person’s cultural values, and have the emotional and intellectual maturity to provide appropriate response when the situation demands.
Binaytara is an example of a GlobalGiving organization that Listens, Acts, and Learns.