Since its pilot stage, VOICE has recognized the importance of assessing the impact of its flagship programs. Monitoring and evaluation have been a critical focus of the organization’s operations to ensure that quality services deliver intended results from year to year.
In the past two years, VOICE has measured improvement in English and empowerment levels. In 2011, 68% of campers improved their spoken English and 63% improved their written English skills. In 2012, on the other hand, 65% of the girls improved in their spoken English skills, 72% improved their written English. In its inaugural empowerment test, VOICE reported improvement on empowerment scores of 59% of girls.
Having proved the great impact VOICE is having on girls in the short-term, it’s time to design a longitudinal study to assess the medium to long-term results of VOICE programming. Through teaching marketable skills as well as encouraging girls to advocate for themselves and set goals for the future, VOICE is hoping to influence girls’ lives and decisions in their adulthood. What we are especially interested in is girls’ graduation from 10th class, moving on to higher education or participation in the workforce, as well as age at marriage and first child.
Girls who completed 9th or 10th class will be contacted by VOICE staff in 6 month intervals for the first 2 years after completing camp, then annually for the next 3 years. This frequent interaction with campers will reduce the risk of losing touch with these oftentimes difficult to reach girls. As VOICE conducts control group testing in its short-term impact assessment, we will collect phone numbers from girls in the sample (with the permission of school management), with whom VOICE will also stay in touch with to observe longitudinal impact against non-campers.
The annual short-term as well as the medium- and long-term impact assessment will feed into a study on the overall impact of VOICE programming and girls’ education on the improvement of livelihoods of girls as they grow up to be women and have their own families. With positive short-term results of VOICE programs to date, VOICE expects to be able to measure substantial improvement in the lives of its campers for years to come