CURRENT

Vocalizing and visualizing stories of change

World YWCA

From April to mid-June 2021, ResultsinHealth, together with Wereld in Woorden (WIW), carried out the end-term impact evaluation for World YWCA’s initiative ‘Promoting the realisation of the right to health for young women and girls’. The project was implemented across 30 countries and three regions (Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe), with additional support for four focus countries (Nepal, Ukraine, Ethiopia, and Kenya). It was implemented between 2018 and 2021 and funded by the Finland Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The initiative focused on increasing awareness and access to SRHR and mental health services for young women. World YWCA and the national YWCA offices supported and trained the young women involved in the programme to act as agents of change by finding new means of discussing often taboo topics and shaping new narratives on SRHR and mental health in their communities and beyond.

One of the key purposes of the evaluation was to demonstrate the impact and change brought about by the initiative, vocalizing the stories of the ‘young women leads’ and their efforts to transform both policy and core cultural narratives at various levels.

Following an inclusive approach, our team used a combination of participatory storytelling techniques to collect both high impact stories (detailing individual exeriences of the main beneficiaries of the program: the young women leads) and impact stories (illustrating a key change that happened in the four focus countries). Our team took a unique approach: first collecting stories of change using aspects of the Most Significant Change (MSC) technique and then using these stories as the starting point for a Photovoice workshop to create ‘photo-stories of change’.

In combining these methods, the team was able to meaningfully engage the programme beneficiaries in the evaluation process and collectively reflect on the impact of the program and its effectiveness in disrupting prevailing cultural narratives. Furthermore, we were able to identify and visualize the most ‘significant changes’ that participants had experienced since becoming involved in the program.

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