Chidi was successful in getting a grant for the girls’ club from the local branch of an international law firm. The law firm wasn’t experienced at giving grants, and they had looked to other funders to understand how they measured impact. The law firm asked Chidi to define her Outputs, Outcomes and Indicators when she applied, and now that she was successful, she would need to report on them.
Outputs, Outcomes, and Indicators allow your youth club to define what you will do and report on before agreeing to receive money from a funder. This means that you are clear about what will be expected of you. They enable you to define:
- What you will do,
- What you expect to achieve, and
- How you will demonstrate that you HAVE achieved it.
If we revisit Toolkit 1 we can see that Chidi had worked hard to define the cookery club’s aims and objectives i.e. the changes she wanted to make to girls’ lives through the cookery club. Having done this, she has a firm foundation for defining her outputs and outcomes.
Are the specific services or activities that you deliver? In Chidi’s case, this would be:
- 40 weekly girls club sessions are delivered over the course of one calendar year.
- 30 girls aged 14-18 learn about soft skills, budgeting, nutrition and starting a small business.
- 30 girls from 5 ethnic backgrounds spend time together fostering integration.
- 30 girls meet 6 professional African women to share their stories of how they reached their positions and the lessons they have learnt.
Measuring your Outputs
It’s easy to measure:
- what outputs you delivered
- who you delivered them to
By keeping a register, Chidi can easily show:
- How many girls attended each individual session.
- How many girls (total) attended over the course of a year.
- How many girls dropped out, and over what period of time (through calculating this).
- The regularity of the girls’ attendance.
- When the sessions took place, and where.
By getting information from the young women each year when they enrol in the youth club through application forms she can easily show:
- Their ages.
- Their school year (and compare this to their age-mates).
- The school they attend.
- The number of people in their families.
- Who their guardians are (this allows you to see how many are in stable homes and indicates some of the pressures they may be facing).
- The occupations of their guardians (this gives you an insight into their family income, for example).
- Ethnic background, mother tongue (Afrikaans, Swahili or Yoruba, for example), religion (this allows you to see whether you are appealing to all the girls from the local community).
Combining the information from the registers and the application forms, you could even analyse whether girls from certain age groups, or certain family configurations, are more likely to drop out of your youth programme, or whether suddenly all of your girls are only from one ethnic group. This allows you to take action to make your activities serve vulnerable girls better.
It’s a bit harder to measure whether the people or organisations you delivered them to were satisfied and thought your work was good quality, but not impossible. By giving girls evaluation forms, you can ask them:
- What they have enjoyed.
- What they have learned about budgeting, nutrition and soft skills.
- How they have used that learning at home or school.
- What they would change (i.e. what they haven’t enjoyed, but in a more positive way, by asking them to make suggestions for improvement).
- What they have seen their friends achieve, thanks to the girls club (this is sometimes more objective than what they see they have learnt themselves, and also helps them to think positively about other people).
- Whether they would invite a friend to join the club, and why (this will help them to explain in their own words why the club is valuable to them).
- Looking back at your Planning Triangle, what are your outputs?
- How can you measure the services or activities you are doing and demonstrate they are happening?
- What data are you currently collecting, and how can you improve it?
You might also be interested in
- Youth Employment Interventions in Africa | International labour organisation (ilo.org)
- Results/Outcomes of the Capacity Building Activities of Some ACBF-Supported Institutions | The African Capacity Building Foundation (acbf-pact.org)
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