Village Enterprise monitors the progress and success of all our business groups using our proven monitoring and evaluation process that includes targeting people living in extreme poverty, working with business owners to develop feasible business plans, monitoring the progress of the businesses, following up with periodic spot-checks, and conducting long-term evaluation studies.
The Standard of Living Index (SOLI) is a multidimensional poverty assessment tool developed by Village Enterprise staff for measuring and assessing the relative poverty level of potential clients. We are also now implementing the Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) to gather data on industry-standard but country-specific indicators researched and developed by the Grameen Foundation. It serves as a baseline survey for impact assessment. We collect data on numerous measures of poverty such as education (the number of children in school), savings (the value of livestock owned), housing quality (mud huts vs. brick homes, straw vs. iron sheet roofs), and nutrition (meals per day and protein in diets).
Mini-business plans help determine the feasibility of the business idea and track progress toward its implementation.
Six to nine months after the business starts, a Progress Report is completed to monitor key operating goals. As part of this ongoing process, each business group is mentored on a regular basis, thereby giving personal attention and guidance in building a successful business.
Village Enterprise has developed a customized and integrated online database enabling us to access all SB (Small Business), SOLI (Standard of Living Index) and PR (Progress Report) data as soon as a new business is formed and funded. Operational and evaluation information regarding training and special projects are also tracked.
In addition to these monitoring and evaluation tools, Village Enterprise has developed administrative tools to ensure accountability and that the funds are used for the intended purpose. These include receipts for each grant disbursement signed by two people from each group receiving money. We also thoroughly track the date of grant money disbursement in our database. Spot-check audits are done quarterly to 1) ensure all of the paperwork is in place for grants and the database is up to date; 2) to ensure that Village Enterprise’s program is delivered properly in the field.
Finally, Village Enterprise periodically conducts a follow-up survey of a random sample of business owners after a reasonable period of time (usually 2-4 years after funding) to evaluate the impact these businesses have had on the lives of their owners and dependents. By comparing this data with that which we collected before the start-ups were funded, we can assess the impact the businesses make on key measures of poverty level as described above. The survey also attempts to understand qualitative impacts on the changes in community involvement and women’s empowerment.