Measuring success: how we are evaluating connections between organisations working in SRHR in Madagascar
Over the past year, SEED’s Project Safidy has established a network of 34 organisations that work in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Madagascar. Running alongside Safidy’s SRHR education programme in schools, the SRHR network aims to advocate key SRHR issues amongst young people, strengthen the capacity of its member organisations, and promote discussion and research on SRHR topics across Madagascar. But how can we measure the success of a programme like this? Enter: social network analysis.
Social network analysis is a way of studying data to look at the interactions and relationships between entities or groups. In SEED’s analysis, each circle (called a node in social network analysis) represents an organisation within the SRHR network and each arrow (edge) represents some kind of interaction between the two organisations. A highly connected network therefore has many edges linking the nodes together.
Before the SRHR network was founded in late 2019, SEED asked member organisations about their connections with other SRHR organisations. In some cases, there were one or two connections between network members and in others there were none. We then asked them the same questions again one year later to measure any changes that the SRHR network’s activities may have created. This would inform SEED of the way in which the SRHR network had fostered working relationships and built the capacity of member organisations to advocate for SRHR in Madagascar.
|Organisations that they have received training or mentorship from before the network launch (red/left) compared to one year later (orange/right)1|
What we found was that despite a year of isolation and disconnection from one another due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SRHR network run by SEED was still successful in facilitating collaboration between organisations focused on SRHR in Madagascar. These connections have the potential to strengthen the organisational capacity of smaller network members whilst ensuring that SRHR advocacy remains at the core of the network's agenda.
The figure above shows that member organisations are more connected one year following the establishment of the SRHR network than they were when the network was launched. In particular, we have seen a huge increase in connections related to training and mentorship. This is likely due to the success of the five capacity building sessions that were hosted by SEED and led by various member organisations throughout the year. These sessions enabled knowledge and skill sharing between organisations around various topics, including SRHR concept and approach; project development and proposals, monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability; fundraising and networking; and advocacy.
What we have learned from this social network analysis allows the Safidy team to further strengthen the SRHR network in the future. Project Safidy created the SRHR network to link together organisations across Madagascar who work towards promoting SRHR. In turn, this allows us to strengthen and promote advocacy work in SRHR and enables the pooling of expertise and resources from a range of organisations. With network members developing each other's skills and capacity in SRHR, this will ensure the sustainability of SRHR projects into the future. Working together, we are excited about what the network can continue to achieve in improving SRHR outcomes for young people in Madagascar.
1Data notes: there are more organisations in the orange figure (right) than the red figure (left) because many organisations joined the network throughout the year. There were also some organisations that did not respond to surveys but are still included in the diagrams because they may have connected with an organisation that did complete the survey.