Introducing the SAH Evaluation Toolkit: A Community-Based Approach to Evaluation for Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders
Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) play a critical role in the private sponsorship of refugees. Canada made history with this private sponsorship model that many other countries including the United States are looking up to and seeking to replicate. But how can SAHs evaluate the impact of their work and improve their activities? Identify what’s working and what’s not? And learn about the kind of supports and opportunities they might have? That's where the SAH Evaluation Toolkit comes in.
Developed by the Centre for Community Based Research (CCBR) in partnership with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the SAH Evaluation Toolkit is a comprehensive resource that will help SAHs to plan and implement their own internal community-based evaluation. And the best part? The evaluation plan is tailored to the organization's specific objectives and designed with the active participation of stakeholders.
The SAH Evaluation Toolkit is a useful resource for SAHs who want to improve their work and demonstrate the impact of their activities. By taking a community-based approach to evaluation, We can ensure that the evaluation plan is tailored to different needs, responds to local community needs and gaps, and promotes equity, engagement, and action among stakeholders.
A unique aspect of this toolkit is that it emphasizes a community-based approach to evaluation that places SAHs and their stakeholders in the driver's seat while advancing equity. Different groups collectively identify an evaluation plan that works for them and their community. This evaluation approach centers people's lived experiences and promotes reflection, learning, and action.
The toolkit is organized according to the four phases of community-based evaluation, and each phase has a number of "steps" that can be completed in an order that makes sense to the evaluator.
Phase One: Laying the Foundation identifies stakeholders, evaluation purpose, and Theory of Change (i.e. activities and intended outcomes/impact)
Phase Two: Evaluation Planning determines the guiding questions, the tools for gathering the data and the plan to analyze such data.
Phase Three: Information Gathering and analysis focuses on gathering information ethically, data analysis, and creating a summary of the data.
Phase Four: Acting on Finding through developing a strategy for sharing the evaluation findings in an accessible way, and initiating actions based on the results.
The steps are nonlinear, more like back-and-forth of dance steps than linear walking steps. Within each step, readers will find practical advice on how to complete that step, as well as insights from SAHs across Canada who have used the toolkit before. An overarching aspect of this toolkit is that it emphasizes the three hallmarks of community-based evaluation: community-driven, participatory, and action-oriented.
We have also created a 2-page roadmap infographic that gives an overview of the toolkit, its phases and steps, and how to maximize its use. This infographic can be used to start the conversation about the toolkit and community based evaluation within SAHs. For more resources on community based evaluation, visit www.eval4refugee.ca
Poster Caption: Introducing SAH evaluation toolkit infographic. Are you a SAH that is looking to: Understand the impact of your work and improve your activities? Identify what’s working and what’s not working for you? Learn about the kind of support and opportunities you might have? This toolkit will help you plan and implement your own internal community-based evaluation while advancing equity.