Following grant funding received from one of BRIDGE’s valued long-term funders, BRIDGE commissioned an independent evaluator to assess the degree to which the organisation is meeting its strategic objectives, focusing on the 2015-2017 period. The evaluator used the Outcome Harvesting Approach, which does not measure progress towards predetermined objectives or outcomes, but rather, collects evidence of what has changed and then, working backwards, determines whether and how an intervention contributed to these changes.
BRIDGE favoured this five-step method because of its strength to verify data with beneficiaries. The evaluation found that BRIDGE is reaching a remarkably large number of people with highly valued inputs, given the size of its staff complement. Additionally, BRIDGE has been found to successfully foster collaboration and sharing on a large scale and connecting people that otherwise would not have had an opportunity to exchange ideas. These connections lead to a variety of manifestations of the BRIDGE high-level outcomes in different contexts.
Some of the recommendations made by the Outcome Harvesting evaluation report were that BRIDGE needs to expand to other provinces where there is greater need for education interventions, make better use of Webinar technology for different engagements and efficiently use stakeholder base for partners to act as BRIDGE champions.
With regard to BRIDGE’s Knowledge Management strategy, the evaluation found that it supports both internal and outward-facing knowledge management. To enhance the engagement with its Knowledge Products, BRIDGE will mediate them more by demonstrating them during meetings, posting relevant links on social media and profiling them in other publications targeted at teachers, NGOs, donors etc.
While some of the expectations communicated by CoP participants are not in BRIDGE’s scope of work, many of the recommendations are being considered and will be implemented. BRIDGE is humbled by the amount of goodwill that exists to expand the work of Communities of Practice in areas that have been largely underserved.