Whenever topics of organizational evaluation or audit come up, general reactions such as “oh no, it is that time again,” “what do they want now” are all too common. But, in the Rukmini Foundation, we view these external evaluations as opportunities to test our belief that we are an efficient, transparent, and effective organization. This blog describes the latest evaluation of the Foundation by an Agency in Nepal.
Background on Evaluating Agency
Nepal is undergoing tremendous changes with the new form of a federal system of government where local districts have some autonomy. These local districts audit and evaluate the nonprofit organizations like Rukmini Foundation. Earlier this year Local Municipality observed the foundation’s scholar selection process. And they were satisfied with our process. Recently, Nepal Government’s Social Welfare Council (SWC) came to visit our Foundation and visited all our partner schools.
The Evaluation Process
SWC’s evaluation process included interviews, site visits, and observations. SWC interviewed the principles of our partner schools, LitClub mentors, and Rukmini scholars. The principles were asked about the foundation and its impact on schools. Principal Mr. Rajan Adhikari explained how the students from that community are getting help through meal program, health checkups, and LitClubs for the girls and how those programs are getting a positive impact on students.
A LitClub mentor was interviewed by the team separately. In addition to the interviews, SWC also visited Kalidevi Basic School and observed our day meal program. Rukmini Pratisthan Director Mr. Shashi Sharma and Foundation staff accompanied the team during their visits. According to the field report from Nepal, all the teachers, mentors, and students, whom they interviewed had nice things to say about the Foundation.
Rukmini foundation takes pride in being a transparent, efficient, and effective organization. The evaluation resulted in some great suggestions from the SWC, some of which we are already putting into effect and some we plan to do immediately. These external evaluations are not dreadful exercises, but opportunities to engage a different community. We don’t aspire to have these evaluating organizations simply give us a pat on our back, but hope that they learn from our best practices and use in other government-run institutions. In other words, we hope they will help us to spread our mission of empowerment through education.