The Learning Journey Continues

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:

  1. Take a closer look at the effectiveness of the program’s implementation.
  2. 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.
  3. Measure the knowledge and skills that fellows have acquired, and evaluate their progress in organizational, civic, and intercultural skills and cross-cultural cooperation.
  4. Determine the usefulness of the resources provided (e.g., reading materials, training, orientations, and residential gatherings).
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

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3 thoughts on “The Learning Journey Continues

  1. Thanks you Myrna for the midterm self-evaluation of the TCOFP.It was a great learning experience for us. The interviews that I had with Myrna and Estela gave me the opportunity to discuss and address the issues that were concerning the Persian community. The things that you discovered also were the issues that were challenging me throuth my learning experience journey, such as to build more confidence and to build more relationships with other fellows. Time commitment was also my issue. The most challenging work was about my three major assignments, ( build the Working Team, Community assessment and gather the Cultural Inventory). After my final interview with Myrna and Minerva I was more confidence and more underestanding of my assignments. Thanks Estela and Myrna for this wonderful learning journey.

  2. Being one of the fellows part of the fellowship I do agree with the assessment that has been presented in this analysis.

    Some of the challenges which I faced was trying to internalize the mission and vision of the TCOFP so that I would take it as a priority and take action upon what is needed to be done.

    Though there was a lacking on my part as a fellow, I feel that I have gain tremendously in this experiences alone. This is one of the few times that I have been involved in a fellowship/program such as this and having the opportunity to be a part of it has given me an insight on how to better prepare myself for projects that I get involved in the future.

    I feel that the greatest compotent so far in this fellowship is the fluidness for the program to understand the fellows grasp and understanding of the program and help them better understand themselves as well as the mission and vision of the program.

    The concept of popular education is something I very much agree on and I feel the program have done an excellent job in sharing and expressing it with the fellows in the program.

  3. I feel that the evaluation is accurate in the challenges and in improvements that we need to make. Seeing it down in writing and reading it, I feel like I’m not the only one but many of us are having similar thoughts, feelings, and challenges as we go through this journey. I feel that this evaluation helps make it clearer for what we need to do. It has been a great learning experience for me and I hope to make the time I have in this fellowship worthwhile.

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