Be the Change you want to see
11.2021 – 3.2023
In SCI, we care about the high quality of our workcamps and other non-formal activities, and we share the need to monitor the results of our work, to know which approaches work and bring change to our audience.
With the “Be the Change you want to see” project that we ran between 2021 and 2023, we turned knowledge on the benefits of impact measurement into regular practice – first for our participating organisations, and then for an ever-growing circle of European youth NGOs!
Why did we organise the project?
- we do care about the high quality of our workcamps and other non-formal activities,
- we share the need to monitor the results of our work, to know which approaches work – and which ones are maybe taking a lot of effort, time, and money, but they do not bring any change to our audience,
- both donors and participants ask about impact – they want professional analysis, numbers, proof of evidence, success stories…
- simple yet trustworthy systems to measure the outcomes and impact of our work would help us a lot,
- we all know the importance of impact measurement… but we felt that in our busy project lives, without a consolidated effort, we would not be able to focus on impact measurement!
The project had 6 main components:
- “Be the Change you want to see” Training Course (20-26.04.2022, Poznań, Poland) on how to measure the impact of our activities, with an emphasis on workcamps.
- Thematic webinars (4-5.2022) on impact measurement essentials, including its practical side in a voluntary organisation, its benefits and challenges: “ImpCat Assessment: the Cat is not a typo!” with Francesco Volpini on 8.04.2022 and “Impact Measurement in Practice: behind the scenes” with Ingrid Danckaerts on 11.05.2022.
- Practice phase (5-8.2022) – organising and running impact measurement of at least one activity (e.g. a workcamp) in each country.
- Peer support groups and consultations (5-12.2022) including mastermind groups, coaching, and mentorship.
- “The Change we became” Seminar (15-18.09.2022, Poznań, Poland) – summing up the experience from the practice phase, consolidating research results, and learning how to communicate the measurement outcomes to a wider audience through numbers and storytelling.
- Practical Guide to Impact Measurement in International Mobility Activities (3.2023) – publishing an electronic publication that gives practical and easy-to-comprehend advice on how to measure and communicate the impact of workcamps and other non-formal education activities.
Our training course and seminar on measuring and communicating impact
Within the project, we organised 2 international events in Poznań, Poland: the “Be the Change you want to see” Training Course (20-26.04.2022) and the “The change we became” Seminar (15-18.09.2022).
The events were organised for altogether almost 60 youth workers and volunteers from 9 countries who were motivated to explore the topic of impact measurement of international voluntary activities and wanted to learn from an expert how to communicate to a wider audience the impact that their organisation creates. Our working methods were based on the principles of adult learning, creating a stress-free and motivating environment.
At the “Be the Change you want to see” Training Course, the participants:
- worked with the impact measurement guru, Francesco Volpini, and with the project coordinator and process leader Gośka Tur,
- got expertise in impact measurement in the field of international voluntary service and skills to conduct small-scale impact measurement studies,
- learned about change management and how to lead organisations through transformation processes,
- had the opportunity to set up peer support groups with changemakers and impact enthusiasts from other countries,
- planned local impact measurement projects which took place later in the summer of 2022.
At “The Change we became” Seminar, the participants:
- worked with the award-winning communication expert, Hanna Wiczanowska, PhD, and with the project coordinators and process leaders Gośka Tur and Afroditi Deilogkou,
- developed expertise in communicating impact results, speech preparation, audience analysis, and storytelling,
- participated in consolidating the research results from the practice phase of the project,
- planned how to successfully incorporate impact measurement into the routine of their organisation,
- became more confident in working for impact and high-quality volunteer work,
- exchanged ideas, good practices, inspirations, and share resources.
After the events, we offered additional materials and the possibility of free consultations with impact measurement and communication experts.
Practical Guide on Impact Measurement
Within the project, we developed an electronic guide called “(Im)Prove it!” that gives practical and easy-to-comprehend advice on how to measure and communicate the results and impact of workcamps and other mobility activities.
The publication comes along with handy attachments – real, scientifically-backed sample impact surveys, and examples of community impact interviews.
The authors of the Guide are Francesco Volpini and Gośka Tur.
The results of the project included:
- almost 60 trained leaders, coordinators, and youth workers, with knowledge and skills allowing them to organise high-quality volunteering activities;
- increased capacity of our 9 partner organisations in the topic of measuring and communicating impact,
- ability to identify and invest in ways of organising international mobility activities (workcamps, exchanges…) that bring the best results and lasting change to the participants,
- proving that it is feasible to streamline impact measurement and communication of results into our regular practice, and do it even with scarce resources,
- at least 100 European youth organisations who used the “(Im)Prove it!” Practical Guide to Impact Measurement in International Youth Mobility Activities in 2023,
- not less than 1800 young people in 2023 who were offered high-quality activities and life-changing experiences, prepared in accordance with the recommendations based on the impact reports’ findings. We expect further snowball effects in the years that follow.
The famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi says “Be the change you want to see in the world”. We committed to being this change, becoming the best examples in impact measurement and high-quality youth work – and we helped others change, too!
Gośka Tur - Project Coordinator
Peace activist, trainer and educator, a member of SCI Poland since 1996. As the project initiator, she bore the main responsibility for its design and implementation.
Afroditi Deilogkou - Project Coordinator
Member of the SCI Impact Working Group, based in Belgium. In the project, she was responsible for the country teams' support.
Elvira Amatuzzi - Support Volunteer
Italian by origin, in 2022 she supported our project as an ESC volunteer.
You can contact the project coordination team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our project was co-funded by the European Union. We are very thankful for making our idea possible to realise thanks to this support!
Project number 2021-1-PL01-KA153-YOU-000035713