effectiveness Posts

Vijana Amani Pamoja’s Learning Journey

VAP Training Session

Nancy Njeri (VAP Program Director), Zipporah Sangiluh (GlobalGiving Storytelling Coordinator), and Enouce Ndeche (VAP Founder and Executive Director)

At GlobalGiving we get excited when we see an organization coming up with new attempts to address real problems that the community itself has identified.   Generally, GlobalGiving believes that this spontaneous generation of possible solutions is what’s missing in how development generally happens.  We get excited when we can observe an organization evolving solutions over time after listening to the people it serves, acting on that feedback, learning from the results, and repeating the process.

In May of 2010, I visited a great organization in Kenya called Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP) which means “Youth Together in Peace” in Swahili.  It started as a football club in 2003 and has evolved into an instrument for social change.  We originally met VAP through a Nike-sponsored sports for social change network and conference held in Nairobi in 2007.  VAP works with youth in the Eastlands area of Nairobi, which can get pretty rough.  Eastlands is home to a large community of Somali refugees, and has been a fertile recruiting ground for terrorist groups linked with the Somali Al Shabaab organization.  Eastlands is the perfect place for a great organization to make a huge impact on a very vulnerable youth population.  VAP uses soccer as a tool to engage youth in programs relating to life skills, HIV/AIDS, and reproductive health with a focus on helping vulnerable girls.

My visit in 2010 was in connection with VAP’s participation in GlobalGiving’s Storytelling Project.  We approached them to be a part of our early experimentation, and they were enthusiastic and engaged.  I attended a session for coaches getting trained up in collecting short narratives from program participants.  In the end VAP collected over 100 stories from girls participating in their program.  From those stories VAP learned that sexual violence was an even more prevalent problem than they had imagined and that girls were willing to talk about their experiences.  In response, VAP launched a program to enhance girls’ self-esteem – the Miss Mrembo Tournament – a combination soccer tournament, beauty pageant, and educational program involving peer educators and counselors from Nairobi Women’s hospital.

VAP continues to demonstrate its commitment to learning and improvement.  I recently became aware of the scorecard VAP created to monitor and evaluate its programs.   They worked with an umbrella organization called Grassroots Soccer to establish a monitoring and evaluation framework to capture changes in behavior among the girls participating in their programs.  The scorecard is engineered in Salesforce and captures metrics in a way that helps VAP move from counting outputs to capturing outcomes.

VAP continues to evolve its programs based on feedback and community needs.  They launched a vocational training program in 2013 to help girls obtain marketable hairdressing and beauty skills and they consistently look for ways to validate their approach.  In a recent newsletter to donors VAP described how it is linking up with researchers evaluating the potential of HIV oral self-testing.  Yet again, VAP is demonstrating its commitment to experimentation and learning.  They are considering including HIV oral self-testing in its annual Kick & Test soccer event and they are willing to work with evaluators to maximize learning and to share results.

Currently VAP works with more than 2,700 participants in its HIV “Skillz” program and 1,200 girls in its “Mrembo” program.  They have participated in various funding opportunities with GlobalGiviung, but they are still a small organization with modest funding needs.  GlobalGiving’s existing Partner Rewards system ranks them as Leader – one step below the top ranking of Superstar.  In GlobalGiving’s new Effectiveness Dashboard, VAP ranks very high in Listening, Acting, and Learning.  In early 2015, GlobalGiving will link these two ranking systems in a way that creates more visibility and status for organizations like VAP that demonstrate a commitment to the Listen, Act, Learn, Repeat cycle.

GlobalGiving has helped VAP at various points in its learning journey, but VAP independently seeks out learning opportunities on its own.  VAP provides a great example of the organizational behaviors that GlobalGiving believes will ultimately lead to better human outcomes.  While we don’t know for sure what kind of lasting change VAP causes in its community, we do know that more and more individuals are being helped with issues that the individuals themselves have identified as problematic, and those efforts link nicely with what development experts believe to be key levers for improving human development.   GlobalGiving is placing its bet on organizations like VAP to be the drivers of real change.

Improve your fundraising with GlobalGiving Analytics

You asked and we delivered! Based on your feedback, GlobalGiving has developed the Analytics Dashboard, a new feature designed to provide insight into your GlobalGiving project and report activity. Check it out here to see how many people are visiting your project pages, reading your project reports, and donating.

Why is data important?

Your organization is providing lifesaving services and advocating for world-changing causes and I bet you’re doing it all with limited staff and financial resources. That’s why data is so crucial to your organization’s decision making! Data allows you to determine how to best allocate your precious time and resources. It makes it possible to maximize the effectiveness of your communications and campaigns to generate more funds for your work. With data, you can set more accurate fundraising goals and measure progress so you can maximize funds to support your mission.

Analytics Dashboard Guide – Visit your Analytics Dashboard here.

Analytics 2The Analytics Dashboard includes the following information:

Date Range: Data is available since the beginning of your account with GlobalGiving! Use the slider to set the date range that you would like to view.

Number of donations: The total number of donations received during the selected period of time.

Number of pageviews: The total number of times your project(s) was loaded on a device during the specified period of time.

Average time on page: The average amount of time that a user spent on your project page(s) before clicking away. Average based on pageviews during the specified period of time.

Number of donations: All the donations received in the selected period of time.

Can GlobalGiving Help You Become More Effective?

As you know, GlobalGiving offers a set of tools to help you raise funds from individual donors and progressive companies. But that’s only part of our mission. Our mission is to catalyze a marketplace for information, ideas and money, helping you access not only critical funding, but also critical tools and knowledge so that you can be as effective as possible with the resources you do have.

What do we mean by effectiveness? Well here’s what we’ve seen: whether in business, government or the nonprofit sector, the world’s most agile and adaptable organizations are learning organizations. They’re engaged in a continuous Cycle of Progress: listening, acting, learning, and repeating. (Sound a little like a core value you might have heard from us before?) These organizations are constantly honing what they do based on the best information they can get their hands on.

So that’s our mandate: we are working to create better ways for you to listen to your peers, your constituents, and researchers in your field, so that you can test those ideas, learn, and improve! We have reason to believe that by giving you opportunities to experiment and learn from real-time feedback through the GlobalGiving platform, we’ll be giving you the tools you need to experiment and improve your work in the community you serve! By giving you access to the kinds of tools and information that can inspire and accelerate this “Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat.”cycle, we believe we’re one step closer to helping you increase your own social impact on the ground.

This is why we’re introducing the Effectiveness Dashboard for GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners. Find it by clicking on one of the Listen, Act, or Learn boxes on your main GlobalGiving dashboard (or click this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/pe/analytics/effectiveness.html). But before you panic… STOP! Don’t worry, we’re not creating a bunch of new hoops for you to jump through to demonstrate your effectiveness. We’re simply putting a new framework in place to track what you’re already doing.

EffectivenessScreenshot

The first 200 organizations that visit their dashboard and answer these 3 questions about it will receive a bonus $25 prize, just for checking it out. Visit your dashboard now!

Go to my Effectiveness Dashboard

Questions? Learn more about the Effectivness Dashboard in the FAQs here. This dashboard is very much in early stages, and you can expect that we’ll solicit your feedback to create the best tools and resources that help accelerate your progress in a way that does not distract from your work. Help us improve it by sharing your comments and questions by emailing projecthelp@globalgiving.org.

Ideally, as you Listen, Act, Learn. Repeat, you’ll be able to track your progress on the dashboard.  And as you’re demonstrating your progress toward effectiveness, we want to  provide you with the kind of exposure to assure the entire world knows it, so your funding can increase as you demonstrate your progress toward becoming more effective.  That’s why later this year, we will begin to incorporate your effectiveness into your Partner Rewards and your project ranking. Don’t worry, we will give you plenty of warning before any changes go into effect and we will continue to welcome your feedback and input when that happens.

Thanks for being part of this learning journey with us!