Measuring Success - Sawa World's Impacts and...

Measuring Success - Sawa World's Impacts and Innovation Team

Sawa World has just created a six month Media Community Outreach Plan in Uganda with input from Sawa Leaders, local media and other local stakeholders. The plan provides a range of media tactics that will occur on a monthly basis to take the solutions of the Sawa Leaders and share these to targeted populations who are on the brink of survival.

With so many qualitative and quantitative measurements to consider in Sawa’s unique approach, the Impacts and Innovation Team at Sawa World has an exciting task. How can you measure Sawa World’s impact and use those findings track the progress of getting 1 billion people out of extreme poverty? Director of the Impacts and Innovation Team, Isaac Buwembo says, “The best way to capture depth and meaning is through narrative stories.” Currently, the team measures impact in terms of Sawa Leaders and Sawa Youth Reporters. What have Sawa Leaders done in their communities? How many people have been impacted by their programs? How many youth have been trained? However, it is not easy to track how many people are taking the solutions from the Sawa Leaders through the efforts of the Sawa Youth and local media, and then replicating them in their own communities.  

The Media Community Outreach Plan is getting the team to rethink how success is measured as an organization. The previous method of filling out a written survey seemed restrictive. Buwembo asked himself and the team if the simple oral tradition of storytelling could be a more effective method to share success and challenges of those participating first hand in Sawa World’s programs.  

The team wants to start using a variety of methods to assess Sawa World’s impacts, the Media Community Outreach Plan is one of such tools. Other methods that will be tested include surveys, in-depth discussions, interviews and group forums. Through these more inclusive methods, a better success story can be shared. The results and observations will be used to consider both the long and short term impact.  The team is constantly bringing their focus back to Sawa World’s main goal; to inspire people living in extreme poverty to replicate the proven solutions of other community leaders. The team will test these tools in a pilot project happening in Uganda over the next six months including the effectiveness of the Media Community Outreach Plan. “It’s always about learning together,” says Buwembo, “learning what works; what doesn’t and what we can do differently.”