Cordaid won the UK evaluation award for giving communities a voice. This is how they did it.

SenseGuide is proud that Cordaid won the best-of-show award of the UK Evaluation Society for its Flourishing Community Index approach. UKES is a British membership organization that promotes and improves theory and practice of evaluation tools and their contribution to public knowledge.

The Flourishing Community Index

Cordaid and SenseGuide have developed an innovative new methodology for the objective and inclusive assessment of the development priorities of local communities with a focus on fragile contexts. The Flourishing Community Index (FCI) captures the needs and aspirations of communities independently of specific projects, development actors or donors. Cordaid has implemented the FCI in Burundi and DR Congo . Modern technologies make it possible to collect, aggregate and share information at a large scale: local communities get a global voice. Cordaid uses the FCI for programming, lobby and advocacy, and as a tool for impact monitoring.

What makes the FCI unique?

SenseMaker Flourishing Community
Giving local communities a global voice with SenseMaker

The FCI is a unique participatory tool that collects stories from communities to create a detailed portrait of life in a community. The FCI generates both qualitative and quantitative data by combining story telling with survey questions about these stories and about the people sharing the story. This mixed-methods approach offers a methodological breakthrough for measuring ‘soft’ indicators such as trust, community cohesion, and perceptions of wellbeing, to recognize patterns and trends from these indicators.

This approach enables local communities to be part of an informed discussion about development in their own communities. Measurement over time provides information about the changes that community members perceive and about specific interventions that contributed (impact monitoring). The FCI meets the demand from academics, development communities and donors for impact evaluation methods that are sensitive to local contexts and social difference. In light of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the FCI offers a detailed and inclusive assessment tool to measure and monitor relevant SDG indicators, especially in fragile contexts.

The two pilot projects in Burundi have been written up as a fact sheet and is also available as an eye-catching, award-winning poster displayed at the UK Evaluation Society conference.

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