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Monitoring, evaluation and learning for the Global Innovations for Character Development Initiative

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Anuradha Agrawala

Templeton World Charity Foundation’s (TWCF’s) Global Innovations for Character Development (GICD) initiative aims to promote the role of character strengths in developing and improving the lives of individuals and communities across the world. The GICD initiative focuses on supporting organisations in developing countries that innovate and undertake research in the character development space.

We divide our role into three distinct but mutually reinforcing areas of work: an evaluation component, a learning component, and a technical support component.

Challenges

Historically, research on character and virtue has been limited and primarily focused on higher-income countries with a “universal” scope but without any emphasis on contextualising its application to individual country contexts. TWCF has sought to bridge this gap by supporting research and context-specific measurement scales to promote character strengths in various geographic and cultural contexts. Support for scientifically backed projects bring various opportunities in the character development space to light, creates opportunity for longer-term outcomes and could ensure a positive impact on the uptake of future programmes. As the MEL partner, we are supporting TWCF in achieving their desired outcome of transforming lives through enhancing character development.

Our approach

Our approach is both formative (i.e., occurring mid-implementation to assess progress and provide recommendations) and theory-based (i.e., examine results at every level of the theory of change and examine its validity).

Our evaluation is structured around four major concerns:

  1. The extent to which progress is being made towards achieving the GICD objectives;
  2. The design and management of GICD as a whole;
  3. The design and management of individual grants; and
  4. The design and management of communications, capacity, and community building activities

Finally, a technical assistance approach is being used to plan and implement research uptake strategies.

Outcomes

We will use the findings from learning workshops, interviews, and other data collection and research activities to contribute to TWCF’s learning on funding organisations in the character development space. The findings and reflections from the evaluation and learning component of the study will allow internal and external stakeholders to effectively guide further research and grant-making activities in this space.