En Vía is dedicated to measuring the effect that our programs have in participants lives. Thanks to the generosity of the En Vía community and the power of crowdfunding, the Impact Assessment Program was launched as a pilot in 2015 and formalized as an En Vía program in 2016. Read on to learn about some of the tools we are using to measure the effectiveness of our programs.
Solicitud: Survey of all En Vía Borrowers 2016/2017: In this initial survey we collected information on 1) Demographic & Financial Information, 2) Initial measurements for the Progress out of Poverty Index, 3) Borrowers self-reporting on investments, profits, and growth. Our plan is to refine this survey and administer it to all borrowers once each year.
Focus Groups: In the summer of 2016 we conducted guided conversations with small groups of borrowers in each of the six communities that we work in. These conversations were designed to 1) get direct feedback from our borrowers about what they value about our programs and what they don't like or would like to see changed, and 2) hear borrowers explain in their own words how being part of En Vía has or has not effected their businesses and their lives.
Before and after exams for business courses: One of our fundamental beliefs at En Vía is that to be effective micro-loans should be offered in conjunction with education programs that give borrowers tools to use those loans effectively. These before and after exams are designed to measure 1) how much borrowers already know about basic business management concepts when they enter our programs, and 2) whether they understand and retain the information that we share in our fundamentals of business management course.
En Vía Tour Exit Survey: Our primary goal at En Vía is to empower the women in our programs to better provide for themselves and their families. However, it is also important to us that we make an impact in the thinking and lives of donors/tourists who join us on our tours. Through our tours we ultimately hope to contribute to greater intercultural understanding in the world. The new Tour Exit Survey is designed to learn how participating in a tour has effected visitors' thinking about microfinance and life in southern Mexico and to see if experiences on the tour are likely to change visitors future behavior/giving/conversations around these topics.