Village Enterprise prides itself on pursuing the highest standards of rigor in client targeting, program monitoring, and impact evaluation. These processes include multi-stage poverty targeting, business plan feasibility assessment, monitoring business progress, following up with periodic spot-checks, and conducting long-term evaluation studies both in-house and with the support of independent evaluation partners.
We are now using the Google.org-sponsored mobile application Open Data Kit (ODK) to collect data via smartphones. This new technology simplifies data collection and entry, reducing M&E expenses while dramatically increasing our field team’s data collection capacity.
Village Enterprise’s targeting approach is designed to be 1) rigorous, 2) accurate and transparent, and 3) independently verifiable. We utilize Participatory Wealth Ranking, locally-defined poverty indicators, and the Grameen Foundation’s Progress Out of Poverty Index (PPI) to capture data that is both representative of each location of operation and internationally comparable.
The improved targeting process adopted in 2011 ensures that up to 95% of program participants start with expenditure levels below the poverty line ($2.50/day) and that more than 50% fall below the extreme poverty line ($1.25/day).
Our targeting effectiveness has been validated via the baseline report of our RCT participants revealing that “with more than 75% of VE households within the lowest two quartiles of national and district-specific welfare index values, Village Enterprise has done a [remarkable] job of targeting the poorest households.”
Village Enterprise monitors the progress and success of all our business groups using the following key tools:
In October 2013, we launched a 3-year randomized control trial to evaluate our program. Thanks to a generous multi-year grant of over $1 million, this independent evaluation will measure the impact of our program and its unique components on the lives of our business owners and their families, and guide our expansion process and program developments. Moreover, it will contribute to the ongoing policy debate on the creation of sustainable mechanisms for poverty alleviation.
Munshi Sulaiman, Research Coordinator at BRAC Research and Evaluation Unit, is the Principal Investigator for the impact study and is assisted by Rachel Proefke, Research Associate at BRAC. Additionally, the contribution of Jiaying Zhao of Princeton University and Anuj K. Shah of Chicago Booth School of Business will help assess the effects of a motivational intervention and the extent to which moving business owners out of extreme poverty affects their decision-making.
Field staff uses Google.org sponsored mobile application Open Data Kit (ODK) for data collection via smartphones generously donated by the Motorola Mobility Foundation.
Internal Program Performance Measurement Reports are produce three times a year coinciding with our funding cycles. It captures changes in daily consumption and standard of living as displayed in the performance dashboard.