Network of African Youths for Development - 'Together is better'
Actiontoolkit - Follow up - Evaluation and General reports

Evaluation has many purposes and provides many benefits both to the project and you as an individual far beyond helping the project continue into the future. Good evaluations give you and your funders - A strong idea of where your personal strengths lie. This is an invaluable reference for you! Vital feedback to funders and supporters of your project. An evaluation can prove to sponsors that they were right to invest in you and will encourage them to invest in you again in future. If you fail to report your funders will feel uninvolved and unvalued. Provide a source of information. At the start of your project you researched experts in your field. Now you are the expert so share your knowledge! And whilst we want all projects to be a success, problems do happen and it is vital we learn from them. So don’t be afraid to admit mistakes. We all make them! It is a sign of strength to admit them and pass on their lessons so that others do not have to repeat them.

Evaluations of successfulAfrican scene projects give us the evidence we need to prove to government and aid agencies that YLD WORKS! If we expect people to take notice we have to provide them with hard evidence of what we can do. If we do not produce reports, our
message will never be heard by the those capable of making policy changes. Young people are generally not fans of evaluating - we enjoy the action too much to sit behind a desk and write it all down in a dreary report. But this has to change. Reports don’t have to
be dull - they can be colourful, will illustrated with photographs, entertainingly written. And with these in hand, we know we can change attitudes towards YLD.

Project Manager Report
Your personal diary of the project: This is what you felt about the project’s progress on each day. Sponsors have really liked a highly personal story of the project.

Performance reports: This is written in a similar format to an evaluator’s report. The performance reports should be your professional take on the success of your team and your strategy.

Project photographs: It is really astonishing the difference a good or bad photograph can make to a report. So many of the photographs we get from YLD projects are useless! Stupid, cheesy close-ups, meaningless group photos, far away, indistinct views. What we need are good action shots, images showing results, and shots of the team engaged in doing something good. These are invaluable and tell the story better than words. Think carefully about what pictures you need to tell the most positive story about your project. We need them for the website!

Financial report: Have you kept your accounts in order at all times? It is incredibly important that sponsors can see their money was spent responsibly and has been accounted for. That is not to say your actual spending should be exactly as you proposed in your budget - changes are a fact of life. But a good financial report means that you have properly documented all expenditures and noted any changes and explain discrepancies between your proposed budget and the actual spending.

Young project manager’s performance report
It is very important that your performance reports follow a similar pattern. That way, we can compare each project with another and build up a coherent picture of what is happening in the field. Below is a generic template for a project manager’s performance report. Use it to help us achieve consistency.

Project Name -
Organisation in Charge - Name, Address, Contact Name, Email, Phone
Project Summary -
Evaluation - Project Context, Methodology Used, Project Analysis according to the goals, Human Resource Analysis, Team effectiveness, Effect on the Beneficiaries
Media Reaction and Local Awareness
Next stepsAfrica scene

Taking Photographs - It is very important to have a visual reference of your project so that you can document your progress with it. Make sure that you take several shots, you will because you will only a few ones that are good. A good photo will show what actions the people in your team did every day! We like this photo because it shows young people actually doing something - planting a tree. A common mistake is that the photos are taken with a poor camera and comes out over or under-exposed. If you take photographs in a hurry, you will sometimes shake the camera and get photographs that are blurry. Another very common mistake we see is a close up of interesting people that fails to show what they are actually doing. Remember: what you are reporting on is what they are doing not their faces, however beautiful those faces may be!

Financial reports
Sponsors are always very impressed when they receive a professionally written financial report. These do not have to be long, wordy documents. If you have kept proper receipts and got your documentation right, the facts and figures should speak for themselves. Just makes sure you include all expenditure and explain any variations from the proposed budget in an attached sheet.

Present the budget in the currency you received the funding. Break down unit costs. Cleary state and explain differences between proposed budget to actual spending. If you rectified budget issues this is the place to do it. Present your financial report in the currency in which your sponsor sent you the funding,translating all costs and figures into that currency.
African scene
Mentors report
It is useful, but not essential, to have a short report from your mentor. This does not have to be long or excessively formal. It should just be an account of the project from the Mentor’s general perspective. Ask for a 2-page report on how s/he felt the project went, focusing specifically on their role and their effect on the project. S/he should consider these points:Your relationship with the project manager and team members: How far were you able to guide them? How willing were they to consider your advice? The role and importance of a mentor: How did your presence add or detract from the success of the project. Do you think a mentor was essential to the project’s success? Explain your answers.

Team development: In your opinion, what did the team learn both from you and from taking part in the project. Do you think the experience was valuable to the youth involved. In what way?

Future of YLD: After taking part in this project, how do you feel about YLD and its future? What, do you feel, should be the rela-
tionship between adults and YLD?

Evaluators report
Like the project manager’s report, it is infinitely more useful if both evaluators’ reports, the young and the old, follow a similar pattern. We propose each explain the following:

Contact details -
How did you get involved?-
Methodology -
General assessment
Evaluation - Community evaluation: Project manager evaluation: Team Evaluation
Financial Report
Follow up
General Reflections about YLD

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