We’re excited to announce the conclusion of the midterm self-evaluation of the Tamejavi Cultural Organizing Fellowship Program (TCOFP). This evaluation was conducted by PVI staff, fellows, and the coordinating group. Everyone was involved in the process in different capacities: outlining the indicators, designing questions, participating in interviews, and/or analyzing findings.
There were several objectives for the midterm evaluation:
- Take a closer look at the effectiveness of the program’s implementation.
- Thoroughly observe Tamejavi fellows’ understanding of the program’s goals, vision, and mission, as well as their responsibilities toward their communities and the program itself.
- Measure the knowledge and skills that fellows have acquired, and evaluate their progress in organizational, civic, and intercultural skills and cross-cultural cooperation.
- Determine the usefulness of the resources provided (e.g., reading materials, training, orientations, and residential gatherings).
- Look at the fellows’ communication and documentation skills, self-motivation, and initiative for building relationships within their communities, with other fellows, and with the coordinating group and PVI staff.
For the midterm evaluation, we conducted two rounds of one-on-one interviews. These meetings provided an opportunity to openly discuss with fellows the challenges they are facing and help identify areas where the program can be improved. We also analyzed documents, such as time logs and program reports, which helped measure each fellow’s engagement with the program and illustrated ways they are applying their new knowledge and cultural organizing skills. We also discussed their progress in convening a working team, conducting a community assessment, and gathering a cultural inventory.
During the midterm evaluations, we discovered several things:
- More work must be done for the fellows to become engaged and committed, so they can take ownership of TCOFP’s vision, mission, and goals.
- Fellows need to build more confidence and improve communication skills in order to overcome difficulties conveying TCOFP’s vision in their role as cultural organizers.
- More space and time is needed to interact and build trust and stronger relations among the program’s participants. Although fellows are interested in building relationships with other fellows so they can learn about each other’s cultures, they have not taken the initiative in reaching out.
- Fellows have experienced time commitment challenges. In some cases, the program has not been a high priority, making it difficult to allocate time for the program’s commitments and responsibilities.
- Fellows have also faced challenges accomplishing the three key assignments: forming a working team, conducting a community assessment, and gathering a cultural inventory. We recognize that more training is needed in these areas.
- We also identified communication gaps related to trust and disengagement.
The midterm evaluation has been instrumental in identifying missing pieces in the program’s implementation and has also informed creative approaches for the future. The findings and lessons learned from this evaluation will help guide the program’s next steps. In the end, the interviews were a great venue to build more trust and relationships. The most rewarding finding of the midterm evaluations is that the ten fellows reiterated their appreciation and commitment to their communities and the program. They have responded well to the next steps designed to address the issues and continue the learning journey.
Thanks all who participated!