The program’s success will be measured against indicators defined by the community’s conceptualization of what it means for a child to be doing well. This is assuming that community-based indicators were developed during the assessment and planning stages.

Potential indicators for emotional wellbeing may include: positive self-esteem, spiritual distress and wellbeing, hope and future orientation, bodily pains, and sense of meaning. Indicators for peer relations may include: isolation, acceptance, substance abuse, aggression, etc. It may also be important to measure children’s coping skills by assessing social competence, care seeking behavior, and nonviolent handling of conflict. Once the indicators are identified, a key step will be to ensure that they are well constructed and measured using culturally appropriate tools.

We will use both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate our work. Qualitative measures such as in-depth interviews will allow for the community’s voice to be heard in a way that surveys are often unable to capture. Quantitative measures will also be useful as many donors prefer quantitative data. It will be important to periodically conduct monitoring and evaluation as situations are constantly changing in times of emergency. Therefore, simply relying on a baseline measure and posttest would be insufficient. Data collected will be used to continuously improve upon our program.

A comparison group will be included as part of our methodology because we will need to know to what extent changes in children’s psychosocial wellbeing can be attributed to our program. For instance, it is possible that positive shifts in the political or economic situations in the country may be responsible for improved conditions for children, and not our program. Therefore, we will identify a comparison group who will be given the same baseline measure as children participating in our program and the same follow up measure to see how their results compare to the intervention group. We realize there are many ethical issues to consider with this approach. We assume that our program will not have the funding to reach every child, and that the most vulnerable children will prioritized when recruiting for the program. If there are children who have been identified as being in need and there is not enough space for them, we would put them on a “wait list” and use them as a comparison group. They would receive the same services as the other children at a later date when it is feasible, and in the meantime, they would receive a smaller package of services so that they will still have access to psychosocial supports. While some may argue that withholding the full package of services is unethical, we feel that we cannot confidently say we are withholding effective programs without data from evaluations to substantiate the claim that our services are having the desired impact.