Creating momentum and space to improve
Lisette Gast facilitated a learning process in which people who are affiliated with AVICRES got a chance to reflect together on how their workings could be improved. AVICRES, a Brazilian/German NGO, has programmes that focus on transforming the lives of vulnerable (poor) people, especially children and youth by providing safe havens. They do this through social, educational and health work, such as a kindergarten, a shelter home for young women and a health centre. The goal of the evaluation was to find out how effective AVICRES is in its work. The evaluation approach created momentum and the space to improve the organisation from within.
In November 2014 Lisette had one week to do the external evaluation of AVICRES. The evaluation consisted of a two-day Appreciative Inquiry summit, six project visits and many staff interviews. It was designed in such a way that the evaluation would be a learning process in itself. Throughout the evaluation, dialogue and appreciative inquiry were key methods for gathering information and for self-reflective learning. More than 50 people were involved in the evaluation. About the summit, participants said that it gave them the opportunity to ‘really take time to share together’ and ‘to hear new perspectives’.
The draft report is finished and a constructive dialogue about the report is planned for early March. Hopefully Lisette’s observations can, together with the learning process that she facilitated, help AVICRES to be even more effective in their support of Brazilian people and their communities.
This project was initiated and financed by KinderMissionsWerk, one of the major financial donors of AVICRES.
The Perspectivity signature in this evaluation?
The work of the organisation was approached from the complex domain, in which many things are connected but causal relationships are unclear. This complex domain requires one to look for emerging patterns and make sense of them, instead of pinpointing ‘good and bad’ habits. It also requires one to involve as many stakeholders as possible and treat them as equals, since both are interdependent and work towards the same goals.
Appreciative Inquiry is an approach that promotes dialogue and understanding. It enables people to learn from their successes and creates space for self-expression, self-reflection and appreciative understanding, all of which are at the core of Perspectivity’s belief of how we can contribute to the world for the better.