Our Story is Their Story: Increasing community engagement in project monitoring in the community of Tumbit Melayu in Berau, Indonesia by Miki Tsukamoto

Hello AEA members! My name is Miki Tsukamoto and I am a Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Video has proved to be a useful data collection tool to engage communities to share their feedback on the impact of projects and programmes in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).[1] In an effort to develop more efficient and inclusive approaches to monitoring projects, IFRC’s Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (PMER) Unit in Geneva, in cooperation with Newcastle University’s Open Lab and in coordination with the Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia-PMI) and IFRC Jakarta, piloted an initiative using the Most Significant Change approach facilitated by a mobile video application (app) called “Our Story,” adapted from the Bootlegger app, in the community of Tumbit Melayu in 2017. Stories were planned, collected, directed and edited by women, men, youth and elderly of the community through this “one stop shop” mobile application. The subject was to gather feedback on a water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) project being implemented by the Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia-PMI) with the support of IFRC in the district of Berau, East Kalimantan province. Costs of this pilot project were minimal, as the app allows video data collection to be done without having to continuously rely on external expertise or expensive equipment.

Our Story: Women’s feedback on a WASH project in Berau, Indonesia


Our Story: Elderly’s feedback on a WASH project in Berau, Indonesia

Our Story: Youth’s feedback on a WASH project in Berau

Our Story: Men’s feedback on a WASH project in Berau

Our Story: Community’s feedback on a WASH project in Berau, Indonesia

Lessons Learned:

  • Data collection: When collecting disaggregated data, it is important that facilitators be flexible and respect the rhythm of each community group, including their schedules and availability.
  • Community needs: By collecting stories from representative groups from the community, it provides an opportunity for organizations to dive deeper into the wishes of the community and therefore better understand and address their varying specific needs.
  • Our Story app: The community welcomed this new tool as it was an app that facilitated the planning, capturing and creation of their story on a mobile device. This process can be empowering for an individual and/or group, and serve to increase their interest and future participation in IFRC and/or National Society-led projects.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

[1] Recent participatory video initiatives produced by communities receiving assistance from IFRC and/or National Society projects can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrI6tpZ6pQmQZsKuQl6n4ELEdiVqHGFw2

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