RNW Media has a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation strategy. It consists of a mixed-method approach in which we combine quantitative data collection and qualitative research, and analysis methods from both digital and non-digital sources. Our web analytics allow us to track and analyse how well our platforms are doing on an ongoing basis.

Mix of methods

In addition, we capture our teams’ progress towards their strategic goals through quarterly progress reports, including both narrative updates and quantitative indicator data. At strategic moments, we conduct surveys and focus group discussions to collect input from our target groups. We also conduct baselines, midterms and end-line evaluations for programmes, and we apply the Outcome Harvesting method to verify our contribution to outcomes observed throughout a programme period.

Improved measuring

In 2019 we revised our indicator framework, resulting in the creation of an organisational Theory of Change (TOC) as well as the respective ToCs for our thematic programmes. Consequently, we revised our indicators so the organisation would be able to track in more detail the changes that our work brings to young people. Notably, as part of this improvement to our measurement system we are also able to better capture the effect of our advocacy.

Transforming attitudes

In 2019, research into our Citizens’ Voice programmes in eight countries found that a large majority (nearly 70%) of young people in our communities reported experiencing a change in knowledge, attitude and behaviour as a result of participation in our platforms. They reported greater acceptance of diversity, being more open to different viewpoints and becoming less prejudiced towards stigmatised groups.

Youth speak up and act

They also reported that they now express themselves more on topics that matter to them. In some countries, young people mentioned they were more likely to speak up and act against violence. In addition, the Midterm Review in 2019 showed our Citizens’ Voice platforms expose young people to diverse views, norms and ways of life, make essential contributions to their understanding of social cohesion and inclusive governance and are highly successful at supporting young people to imagine different positive identities and roles for themselves.

Midterm review

The most important piece of research that took place in 2019 was the external independent Midterm Review (MTR) of the Next Generation Programme. This section reviews the findings of the evaluation as well as the recommendations. We are incorporating the recommendations into our planning and are well poised to address most of them, strengthening our reach, scope and impact. We are still looking at how best to incorporate the recommendations into our planning. One of our immediate responses is the already planned for strategic review of the Citizens’ Voice and SRHR programmes, especially in relation to the target group, addressing more vulnerable young people.

Changes in knowledge, attitude and behaviour

An impact survey of our SRHR programme across 2016-2019 in Nigeria, RDC, Egypt and China showed a large majority (nearly 70%) of the young people on our Love Matters platforms experienced a positive change in relation to their SRHR. Changes ranged from increased knowledge on safer sex, female genital cutting and healthy and pleasurable relationships to changes in attitudes and behaviour. Many respondents in China expressed greater acceptance of LGBT persons and of the idea that women have a right to pleasurable sex. Respondents in other countries also stated increased ability to express sexual needs and desires and being able to deal with abusive partners.