Lauren, our ICS International Delivery Manager, reflects on how the impact assessment process is going at the halfway mark.

If you have been able to read our previous blogs in this series you will know that Y Care International are currently carrying out a research project in Liberia, Togo, and Senegal in order to establish the impact of ICS on the local community, the in-country alumni, partners, and the YMCAs we work with.

Since working on the ICS programme with Y Care International I have been able to see first-hand the incredible work volunteers have done and the impact they have on the communities they live in. Having had the opportunity to spend time in both Senegal and Togo and see the work which has been carried out by previous ICS volunteers it is very exciting for me to hear the initial results of the impact assessment work being run by the final groups of volunteers – the results are broadly very positive so far!

From their Mid-term reports it seems that all teams are coming up with some really interesting results and the volunteers are enjoying being involved in such an important project which could change the face of international volunteering in the future.

Focusing in on Liberia in particular, their impact assessment work is on track and they have delivered four topic assessments in schools and communities covering sanitation, hygiene and waste management, cholera, diarrhoea, typhoid and malaria.

They have completed several semi-structured interviews with staff of the YMCA, in-country alumni, and project partners, They have also completed multiple questionnaires in each of the topic areas, have begun inputting all their data to our analysis tool, and have completed semi-structured interviews with beneficiaries of the Development Challenges in Gio and the Buzzi Quarter.

All that is left for the team to do is finish off the questionnaires and focus groups with beneficiaries and write the final report based on the findings!

Interestingly, as a result of the initial findings of the impact assessment the team have decided to add a couple of new activities to their final few weeks. For example, at the time of writing this blog the team had begun an introduction for a leaflet to identify the known knowledge gaps in health awareness based on the impact assessment findings.

Both the Senegal and Togo cohorts are also well on their way to completing some incredible work and we can’t wait to see the final results!

Please check out the other blogs in this series, and to hear directly from the volunteers we have some fantastic video blogs available from the field as well!