Development of methodology: effect and impact measurement


Measuring result
Every year War Child meticulously records the results of all programmes by means of the organisation wide Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation system. Whether the results have been achieved War Child determines on the basis of observations and interviews with beneficiaries, people in their immediate surroundings and by means of focus groups. These are groups of people in a community who evaluate and discuss certain activities. Apart from measuring War Child results, reports from other organisations, statistics produced by governments, schools and other bodies also provide information about programme results.

Evaluation
At the end of a programme (sometimes of more than one year) not only is the annual measuring of results done, but an extensive final evaluation is also performed, in which not only the results of the support are considered but also the financing, efficiency of the programme and personnel matters. Interim evaluations of this kind also take place for long term projects.

Measuring effect
For the development and continuous improvement of War Child's programmes it is important that War Child gains insight into the concrete effects of its aid on the psychosocial wellbeing of children. However, indicators of psychosocial wellbeing are variable, hard to quantify, subjective and culturally different. Together with other organisations providing psychosocial support and scientific institutes, War Child is working on suitable measuring instruments and their practical applications in its own range of activities. This kind of activity will, however, remain subordinate to War Child's most important task: supporting children in project countries. 

Impact
War Child is convinced that healthy, happy and well-balanced children increase the chances for a peaceful and stable community. However, the impact (the long term effect, around some five to ten years further on) of psychosocial aid on the community cannot, or only with great difficulty, be measured. Many different factors, especially factors outside the sphere of influence of aid organisations, have an impact on a peaceful community.

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Elise Griede, War Child methodology specialist

Elise Griede, War Child methodology specialist develops special programmes for 11-to-15 year olds, called I DEAL.

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