The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) strategy at OneVillage Partners is highly participatory which serves to build the capacity of community members and involve them in program evaluation. We monitor and evaluate our programs across partner communities to know success areas and also ascertain areas to improve. The MEL team also evaluates itself and its systems, reviewing the data it collects to make sure there are no evidence gaps. The team developed two new surveys piloted in 2019 to provide data in new areas. The Village Household Survey is a community-wide assessment of people’s attitudes, social norms, and wellbeing. The NOW Male Relative Survey was developed to collect data on the male perspective of the impact of the Nurturing Opportunities for Women (NOW) program. Below is an explanation of the lessons learned so far from these two new surveys.
The NOW Male Relative Survey aims to track the male perspective on the impact of the NOW program. Changes in household savings habits and financial decision making are much more likely to occur if the male partner is on-board. Prior to this time, OneVillage Partners was focusing only on the NOW participants (rural w
omen) to determine program effectiveness. With this new survey, we track whether men’s ideas and behaviors change together with the NOW participants. The MEL team sampled half of the male relatives of NOW participants across the five communities where the NOW program was being implemented. The objective of this survey is to track male perspectives on household decision making processes, social norms, and gender attitudes. At baseline (before the NOW program), 83% of men believe that a woman should obey her husband in all things, but 98% said they would support their wives to speak in public. While these results may seem contradictory, it helps us to make culturally contextual goals for the program and work within the existing social norms to effect change. For example, the above results tell us that husbands are ready to support their wives stating their opinions in public, but may not be as amenable to wives using their voice within the home. If this does not change at endline (after the NOW program has completed), then OneVillage Partners could look at bolstering curriculum areas that deal with household communication and decision making. Stay tuned for the endline assessment in August!
The Village Household Survey aims to measure attitudes, behaviors, social norms, and quality of life across a new community we partnered with in 2019. The goal of this survey is to collect a measurement to serve as a baseline in these key areas. For example, the survey includes a story about a young girl with a child that wants to return to school but her husband refuses. Participants are asked a series of questions about the story to assess their gender attitudes. In three years when the community has completed both the Community Action and NOW programs, the team will conduct an endline assessment to determine if any significant quantitative changes occurred during the community’s engagement with OneVillage Partners related to key areas (including gender attitudes from the example provided above). This survey also tested out questions aimed at measuring high-level concepts, such as
social cohesion and gender equity. All of the questions included had been tested in other areas of the world, but the team learned that while some questions were successful, others did not work for the specific context in which OneVillage Partners operates. This experience will help the MEL team to continue refining survey questions to fit the needs of the community while providing evidence of big-picture changes outlined in the organization’s Theory of change.
OneVillage Partners and its partner communities have big goals for change; collecting data that communicates evidence for that change is not always easy and straight forward. It
is only through piloting new assessments and listening to the communities about what works and what doesn’t that we will be able to accurately measure change. Additionally, it is not just through quantitative surveys that data is collected, check out our 2018 Most Significant Change report for some great insight on the changes community members identify in their own lives since they started working with OneVillage Partners.