Sometimes it’s quite tricky to evaluate the impact of the work, especially when it comes to changes in attitudes and values, and indirect impact. First of all, it’s very important to know what exactly you want to achieve, to be able to measure the impact. You can do quality work, but if it doesn’t have the results you want, then you have to ask yourself, am I doing the right thing and am I doing it well?
It’s also a difficult duty to predict the future, but sometimes you just close your eyes as long as it’s possible.
« The signs of dissatisfaction and the need for change have been in the air for years, the discussion participants pointed out. In spite of this, what happened in the Arab countries surprised everyone. »
I think what we should learn about the Arab Spring is that things can change and we should open our eyes to what is happening everywhere in the world. You may think it has nothing to do with you, but you never know what influences your living environment dramatically.
I think this is what should be pointed out especially when it comes to Development Education.
For example Sauri is quickly showing progress and potential when life-saving interventions are introduced into a village and communities are empowered with the means to pull themselves out of poverty. In 2004, Sauri, located in Western Kenya's Siaya District, became the first Millennium Village. The rural community of 5 300 people made a commitment to pulling itself out of poverty, but lacked the means to do so.
This year I have had a couple of great opportunities to learn more about Development, as I had the chance to visit projects in Kenya in February. I will share the videos about the Millennium Villages Project. (See the links below)
It was a bumpy ride…
I also had the chance to participate to the Development Education Summer School in June. It had over 70 participants coming from Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Europe. The training event was organized by the project DEEEP Developing Europeans Engagement For the Eradiction of Global Poverty, in cooperation with the Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU. So, the aim of this project and event was to improve and increase capacities of development education workers.
This year’s summer school focused on Quality and Impact in development education work, and It was also an opportunity for networking and sharing information.
What I found the most interesting part of the seminar on 16th June was the workshop sessions, that aimed at sharing and discussing on new perspectives for Quality and Impact from outside the usual field of development education and awareness-raising, including businesses, marketing, media and the field of behavioural sciences.
The workshop number 1 was about creating a message. Timo Berry, Designer at BOTH Creative Design Agency gave tips about how to create a message and achieve your goal.
Berry’s work field varies from environmental art to posters and branding. His experiences show how important it is to give the right message at the right time.
What you also need to have is volume when your aim is social change. Berry also gave some small-scale NGO-tips : you should not just stay in the office but instead hit the streets, not focus on your peers but on those who disagree with you, and try to find ways to make your message acceptable or understandable for them. It’s also important to talk positive, so that your message will more easily go through. One of the most important things is to analyse out what tickles the buyer/receiver. This means you have to get out of your own head and start to analyse the values and emotions of your "buyer" to really be able to create a message that works for them using their rhetoric, not yours. « There’s no reason to preach for the converted », Berry said, and explained, that it means nothing you’re right, if you’re not heard, for all that matters are the results. When you need to communicate something, make a plan and stick to it, because consistency is what matters.