The following blog was written by Jodie Konior, Project Coordinator for Communities Building Youth Futures in Oxford County. The Collective Results team had the pleasure of working with Jodie and Communities Building Youth Futures partners between May and October of last year on several evaluation-related projects. Take it away, Jodie!
Communities Building Youth Futures (CBYF) Oxford County is a collaborative with a goal of improving high school graduation rates and youth outcomes in our community. We worked with Collective Results to create an evaluation framework for our overall initiative as well as tools for the developmental evaluation, and a second evaluation framework for a participatory grantmaking model we implemented.
Collective Results supported us throughout this project in a wide variety of ways. First, because our initiative is youth-led, the Collective Results team took the time to educate our group on what evaluation is, why it's important, and how we go about doing it in a way that didn't involve jargon as was easy for anyone to understand. Building this capacity in our team allowed for our youth members to fully participate in the process of building our evaluation framework. Collective Results then helped us build a theory of change for our project to then use for building our evaluation framework. They walked us through a collaborative process of identifying what we felt was important for us to measure in this evaluation, which was then used to create our indicators as well as the format and frequency by which we'd measure our success within each one. The Collective Results team then used our group's decisions to create survey tools for us to use, and instructions for how best to utilise them.
Beyond this, they also created a logic model and evaluation framework for us to use for the participatory grantmaking model we were implementing in our community. Because of the education and capacity building they did with us during the development of our core evaluation framework, we were able to go off and create the survey and other tools ourselves for this framework. Throughout the process, Collective Results consistently checked in to ensure that we felt the work was going in the right direction and were extremely collaborative every step of the way.
If I could describe working with Collective Results in three words, this would be it:
Empowering - The Collective Results team focuses a lot on empowering the people they work with to be able to take ownership of the work and the evaluation process on their own, so as to ensure sustainability of the evaluation.
Creative - Collective Results built the capacity of our team in extremely creative ways and engaged our group through a variety of learning styles. They encouraged us to think creatively.
Hopeful - The positive attitude and general sense of hope that Collective Results brought to our group radiated from them, and was truly infectious to everyone they engaged with.
Thanks for the kind reflections, Jodie! This is exactly the kind of work that we love doing. It was an honour to support your group with evaluation planning and we wish you all the success in the implementation and evaluation of your initiatives!