Are business brains better brains? One Girl, Sierra Leone

What we did

Radically participatory evaluation

We pioneered a radically participatory evaluation to determine the impact the Business Brains programme was having on girls and their communities in Sierra Leone.

Our work used a radical peer-based and strengths-focused methodology that aimed to go beyond what is normally understood as a participatory evaluation.

We engaged all 11 local staff from One Girl and Restless Development during all stages of the evaluation. Together, we looked at the highlights, challenges, and areas where we could make this program even better to find out where the Business programme program stood.

We trained and supported staff from the funders (One Girl) and the implementation organisation (restless Development) to:
  • co-design key lines of inquiry and evaluation questions

  • design and conduct focus groups and stakeholder interviews

  • co-sense the learning from these interviews

  • sift and prioritise the findings

  • co-produce a shared set of recommendations for future action.

Client Feedback

“The evaluation gave us hope that the changes we all want to see are already happening. It also gave donors information about what the community want. The Whole Person Approach really strengthened Restless Development’s relationship with One Girl. It really brought us together to work on programme design. We now have a very good Theory of Change.”

Regional Operations Manager South-East Region Restless Development

“What I was most proud of was that this was a collective learning process and uniquely creative. This helped strengthen communication and understanding of each others’ roles.”

International Programme Director One Girl

“I’ve taken part in a number of participatory evaluations before, but this was the first time I have been involved in the design of the evaluation questions.”

Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Officer Restless Development, Sierra Leone

Media Products

Sharing reluts and learning

We created an internal website on the Google Sites platform that detailed step-by-step of the participatory evaluation process and also presented the evaluation’s detailed findings in a user-friendly and dynamic format.

Following the saying that one picture is worth a thousand words, during the fieldwork we took a number of pictures that were later used in the reports and website.

One Girl later published the evaluation findings as part of their Research Report series.

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