By Elio Constantine
In 2020, as the world was struggling to adapt with and overcome the worst pandemic in recent history, Heart for Lebanon hired me to help build its monitoring and evaluation framework.
According to the World Bank Group, monitoring can be defined as: “A continuing function that uses systematic collection of data on specified indicators to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing development intervention with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds”.
Evaluation can be defined as: “the process of determining the worth or significance of a development activity, policy or program … to determine the relevance of objectives, the efficacy of design and implementation, the efficiency of resource use, and the sustainability of results. An evaluation should (enable) the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process of both partner and donor”.
To put complex frameworks in simplified terms, we at Heart for Lebanon believe that if we prepare missional leaders to serve their communities, and if we contribute to restoring people’s dignity and trust in humanity, and if we build a safe and inviting environment where individuals can study scripture and understand the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in a relevant and formational matter…. then people we serve feel more respected, accepted, welcomed, valued, and trusted. Therefore, we are contributing to restoring their hope, building their resilience, and supporting them in experiencing inner peace, and reconciling with God, self, and others.
To monitor this, we have set various outcomes we plan to reach, most important of which are to restore hope among people and build a safe and welcoming environment, facilitate people’s experience of inner peace and reconciliation, and prepare community-based missional leaders to serve their communities.
In practice, we have different programs and activities to facilitate the above. First and most importantly, our team on the ground builds relationships with people. These relationships grow by visiting children & their families on a regular basis, tending to their needs, praying with them, and loving them. Bible studies are available for whoever feels the need to know more about scripture; our Bible studies are home to a very diverse group from different backgrounds and religions.
Children get a large portion of our attention through tailor-made, fun activities that teach them Biblical principles like forgiveness, love, and respect. But most importantly is what is happening on Sunday mornings. Most of these children come to Church with their parents and attend Sunday School, learning commitment to Church and the importance of being part of a faith community from a very young age.
We believe that transforming communities starts with the young; providing safe and faith-based environments for young children is a crucial stepping stone for building better communities and nations, and we work hard to plan, monitor, and evaluate every step along the way.
To find out if you church qualifies for our Church-to-Church Partnership Program contact Tom.Atema@HeartforLebanon.org