Monday, September 8, 2014

Case Study: Using Data to Measure and Communicate an Impact

Why do some organizations perform so well while others can't seem to figure it out? Then there are those we can't help but think "they just got lucky." Or did they? Although we can't answer that million dollar question, we hope we can give you a point in the right direction and provide a great example. We are all on our own missions and goals we need to accomplish. Another thing we are learning to do is master the cycle of how to listen, understand and deliver appropriate changes moving forward. One of the big problems and inconsistencies that happens as we begin collecting more and more data is making sure we are collecting the data that supports our mission and not just data for the sake of more data. That's why there is the mess you see everywhere today of big data.

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A piece we often are missing is knowing where and how to get the right data that we need to support our mission. Earlier this year we recapped a NewMR Presentation on why it is important and how to create communications that make an impact from your research. This subject has continued to be at the top of our minds as technology grows and our attention spans increasingly become shorter. In fact, our attention span today of 8 seconds (compared to 12 seconds in 2000) is even shorter than the attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds)! How will we get anyone's attention in the future as we become even more distracted?

Our latest customer success story and case study is about the amazing movement by Barefoot College and how they are able to effectively measure and communicate the impact of their efforts. They support their mission with the right data from the right places and even at the right times. Knowing the impact helps you to decide what is next and improve moving forward.

By utilizing our offline SurveyPocket technology (via iPad or tablet), the M&E (Measurement and Evaluation) Department at Barefoot College can now track the before and after progress from the world's most hard to reach communities. The end result is continuous growth of their movement and giving the gift of energy, education and life's necessities to rural villages all over the world.

The Solar Mamas

Since 1989, Barefoot College has been harnessing the sun's energy and helping rural communities of the world obtain a higher quality of life. Barefoot College trains women how to provide self-reliant solutions within their community including solar, water, education, employment, livelihood and supporting activism that will both boost income and save the world. Learn more in the video trailer about the Solar Mamas initiative below.

The Impact of the Barefoot College Solar Initiative

  • 450,000 rural people now have light
  • 1,160 rural villages have been solar electrified
  • 740 women Barefoot solar engineers
  • 64 countries with solar engineers
  • 13.02 metric tons of carbon emission are reduced per day
  • 500,000 litres of kerosene are saved annually

Why Women?

In India where the Barefoot College rural development movement first began, it was quickly noticed that in unexposed villages that the women were more willing to learn and continue helping others learn for the greater good of their villages. In these places, men more often than not used any type of privilege for achieving a higher status. With this in mind, Barefoot College found a non-traditional way to teach both semi-literate and illiterate women how to provide their own energy and continue to develop resulting in a better life for all. Today, there are 740 women solar engineers from 64 countries.

About Barefoot College

Barefoot College is inspired by Ghandi to "be the change you wish to see in the world." The mission of Barefoot College since their inception has been to lift the dignity and self respect of the impoverished living on less than $1.00 per day in rural areas of the world. What started in India has now expanded their movement to bring joy to similar villages in Africa and South America. Learn more in Bunker Roy's TED Talks titled "Learning From a Barefoot Movement" or see the impact Barefoot College has made so far on the world here.

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