Method: focus group discussions.
A focus group discussion is a brains-trust that brings together key thinkers and stakeholders on your issues. They’re there to help you come up with ideas, give feedback on ideas and provide insights you wouldn’t have come to on your own. It’s ideal for collecting a range of different perspectives. They can contribute to the design or evaluation stages, or both. They are also a great way of building community, creating buy-in and ownership. This worksheet provides a guide of how to effectively run a focus group in a Video for Change initiative.
Method: assessing participation in the video making process.
This method evaluates the experiences of people who’ve engaged in your project. It ensures that their feedback is counted and considered in your evaluation.
Method: most significant change.
‘Most significant change’ is a popular qualitative method to understand the impacts an initiative has had, including those that were unplanned. The approach creates and analyses personal stories of change and evaluates which was most significant and why.
A good impact story incorporates the stories of participants and people who’ve been affected by your video project. The ‘most significant change’ method lets people tell their own story of how your initiative affected them, instead of measuring impact along the lines of set indicators.
This guide by Rick Davies and Jess Dart is a complete toolkit of how to use this form of participatory monitoring and evaluation: Most Significant Change. Find more tools for using this method at Resources and Tech.
Evaluation and the Video for Change Values
Just as impact can occur during your research and design, filming, distribution or other stages, it can also happen as part of evaluation. The various methods outlined are chances for knowledge exchange, skills building and learning: developing individual and collective capacities. This capacity development keeps the momentum going from the impacts of the initiative, and makes ground for new collaborations that may emerge.
Below are sample indicators for thinking about impact at the evaluation stage. You should modify these based on your own objectives. Note that you shouldn’t shy away from negative impacts. It’s crucial to understand these in order to improve for next time, and be responsible to partners and stakeholders.
Clear rational indicators:
- Participants of evaluation discussions are able to clearly define the impact your Video for Change initiative has had on their lives.
- Initiative participants are able to identify a ‘most significant change’.
- Participants and stakeholders can see the results of an assessment against the original objectives of the initiative.
- Stakeholders understand how the results of your final evaluation relate to them.
Power analysis indicators:
- Power imbalances are openly discussed during focus group discussions.
- Community members are able to link impacts of your initiative to injustices occurring in their community.
- An assessment detailing changes (if any) in power relationships is created.
Participation and inclusion indicators:
- Voices of marginalised groups in the community are included in the evaluation.
- If need be, a separate women only focus group discussion is held to address issues concerning women.
- Monitoring and evaluating efforts are held in the local language at public and easily accessible locations.
- Participants are allowed to contribute to the agenda of focus group discussions as well as contribute to evaluation design.
Accountability and transparency indicators:
- Results of the final evaluation (impact stories) are created and shared with partners and stakeholders.
- Participant lists and minutes (or audio recordings) of focus group discussions are archived and accessible for future use.
- Impact stories are made available in local language of the community and shared with the community as appropriate.
- All sources of the final evaluation’s impact stories are mentioned at the end of the document.
- Communities are informed about final evaluation efforts taking place within their community.
Mitigating risks indicators:
- Selection of participants and locations for focus group discussion are chosen based on a risk assessment.
- Information in final evaluation is made anonymous as needed and securely stored.
- Risks of partaking in final evaluation are explained to participants and interviewees.