When does child's play become knowledge? Why do games about health save lives? How do children become peaceful leaders in their community?
These are some of the difficult questions our Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist, Colleen Keilty, tries to answer in her work. It isn't always easy, but through
IBM's support, she's now able to focus on turning children's experiences and feelings about our programs into meaningful results.
This past July, Colleen and members of our global MEL team were trained on IBM's software, SPSS—a statistical analysis tool helping organizations better understand and assess their data through predictive analytics. This week-long training seminar in Toronto was part of a grant IBM generously awarded us in April that streamlines the monitoring and evaluation process and greatly improves our measurement capacity. These sessions had a global reach, with team members from our country and regional offices in the Palestinian Territories, Mozambique, Pakistan and Benin experiencing them remotely.
"Before SPSS, we weren't analyzing information efficiently—all spreadsheets, formulas and pivot tables were created manually," she says. "The training and software licences now allow us to think critically about our programs and the type of analysis we can perform."
For organizations to grow, they must recognize their successes and areas of improvement. For charities and non-profits, this analysis also helps provide proof that your valuable donations are making significant impacts. IBM is helping our staff and supporters around the world better understand our work, maximize our learnings and develop our programs accordingly.
"IBM's tools give us more accurate and efficient reporting," Colleen says. "This is really important for our regional and country offices, who share our findings directly with schools, governments, and community leaders."
With baseline evaluations currently underway in 14 different countries, our improved capacity will increase the quality of the analysis we produce, the results we present, and the recommendations we make–having an immediate impact on the quality of our programs that reach more than one million children.
Colleen is excited about all the possibilities offered by this grant: "We can uncover best practices, we can refine how we design our sport and play programs, and we can grow as an organization."