Start a new service project today!

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service staff

Does your club want to try a new type of service project or want to find a project in another region to partner on and are not sure where to start?

The Project Lifecycle Kit tools can help with all your service project needs. These online resources guide your project from inception to implementation while also facilitating connections with other Rotarians around the world. Rotary is unique in that service means more than just helping others. We’re also about forming valuable partnerships that make projects more sustainable and in turn help foster more peaceful communities. So which tools comprise the Project Lifecycle Kit?

Through Discussion Groups, Rotarians have access to a plethora of information from other Rotary members who provide valuable support during the planning phases of a project. Use these groups to pose questions to other members and tap into their expertise, experience, and advice. If you are starting a project in one of our areas of focus, you can take advantage of our Cadre of Technical Advisors moderated groups.

For example, the Water and Sanitation Group gives you the opportunity to receive advice from subject matter experts, as well as members of our Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (Wasrag).

A few recent enhancements to Rotary Ideas makes finding a project partner easier than ever before! A Google Translate option is now available on each project page, expanding the options for partnering beyond the boundaries of language. You can now search for projects by filtering by contribution type (volunteers, partnerships, online contributions, and materials), making it easier to find the types of projects you want to support.

For example, the Water For Life Project in Egypt is looking for global grant partner to help provide safe and clean water to families living in poverty.

Remember to continue to share your success stories on Rotary Showcase, recently updated to allow you to tag Rotarian Action Groups and Rotary Community Corps as project partners. Identifying all of your Rotary project partners ensures that your good work is shared as accurately as possible within our communities and the world.

For example, through a global grant, the Rotary Club of San Pedro South in the Philippines installed a solar powered potable water treatment system at a local elementary school benefiting 1100 students. The project included a deep well with a submersible pump powered by a solar panel. The system can produce up to 2000 liters per hour when the solar panel is at its peak capacity. To manage project operations and maintenance, including how to share the potable water with the surrounding community, the Cuyab Rotary Community Corps (RCC) was formed with officers from the school faculty, the parent teacher association and local government. The RCC will decide how the water will be shared with the nearby community, its price, schedule and mechanics.

As always, if you have any questions regarding these tools, please feel free to contact social@rotary.org for assistance.

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Related:

Getting the most from Rotary’s social tools

By Chelsea Mertz and Rebecca Hirschfeld, Rotary Service Connections staff

Is your club looking to implement a service project, but lacking funds or materials? Are you seeking specific expertise within the areas of focus to assist with planning and applying for a global grant? More than 25,000 Rotary clubs and members are using Rotary’s Project Lifecycle Kit to reach their service goals.

The Project Lifecycle Kit, consisting of – Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase – is your one-stop-shop for digital tools that can help you with planning and supporting your service project and then promoting and sharing its impact. These online tools help the Rotary family build connections, find project resources and partners, and share their successes to help you be more effective, efficient, and ready to take action! These tools represent the many phases of a service project and serve as a set of resources that can ensure success throughout the lifecycle of a project.

While you brainstorm and strategize ideas, connect with others to exchange best practices through Rotary Discussion Groups. By soliciting support on Rotary Ideas, contributions from the Rotary community and beyond can help make your service goal a reality. Then share your project impact to inspire others through Rotary Showcase.

Join us on 14 March for the Getting the most from Discussion Groups, Rotary Ideas, and Rotary Showcase webinar to learn the Project Lifecycle Kit basics to help you maximize your project’s impact. Space is limited, so sign up today!

› Tuesday, March 14, 10:00 – 10:30 AM Chicago time (UTC-5); convert to your local time.

How will you Be a Gift to the World this year?

T1516-ENBy Ellina Kushnir, RI Programs staff

RI President K.R. Ravindran challenges us to use our gifts – talents, knowledge, abilities, and efforts – to make a genuine impact through fellowship and service activities. Through our Rotary network, we have access to many resources to plan projects using our skills, expertise, and passions to improve communities near and far.

Showcase how your club or district supports communities:

  • Through a Rotary grant, the Rotary Club of Santa Maria, Philippines, is working with the Rotary Community Corps of Pulong Buhangin 2 and other partners to provide safe water and sanitation for a community within the Santa Maria Bulacan municipality.
  • BELThe Rotary Club of Udaipur Udai, India, partnered with a cooperating organization to provide computer literacy classes to older residents. The Rotaract Club of Aishwarya volunteered as teachers during the trainings which covered topics including scheduling appointments, making reservations, and paying bills online. The Rotary club members provide students with ongoing consultation after completing the courses.
  • The Rotary Club of Santurce, Puerto Rico, collaborated on a Rotary Friendship Exchange with the Rotary Club of Port of Spain West, Trinidad and Tobago, to build fellowship and friendship and explore international service opportunities. The visiting team from Puerto Rico visited several projects, engaged in fellowship, and met the club’s sponsored Interact Club and RCC. They will host their new friends from Trinidad and Tobago later this year.
  • VocServiceThe Rotary Club of Irvine, USA, teamed up with the Irvine Valley College to host an interview workshop and mock interviews with college students. Students were interviewed by a panel of three Rotarians and then received feedback to improve their interviewing skills.

Support club and district initiatives:

  • The Rotary Club of Benin Metropolitan, Nigeria, seeks an international partner to assist with their initiative to provide safe drinking water for the 5,000 residents of the Obazagbon and Ugieghudu communities.
  • IDEASThe Rotary Club of Kharkiv Multinational, Ukraine, is seeking partners to assist with a camp program for local youth. Children who are refugees from nearby conflict areas, part of military families or face tough life situation will participate in the program which includes fun outings and activities along with a targeted curriculum to help participants adapt and socialize given their backgrounds and traumatic experiences.
  • The Rotary Club of Sorocaba-Sul, Brazil, seeks partners to help build a playground for children with physical disabilities. The project will create safe place in the city for recreation, rehabilitation and physical education for children with disabilities. The park will also offer opportunities for children to socialize with their peers

Visit Rotary.org for many more resources to help you with your club or district project. Remember, the 2015-16 Presidential Citation will recognize clubs that achieve an array of accomplishments intended to make Rotary stronger, more effective at delivering service, and more widely known and respected by the general public. Encourage your clubs to focus on the Humanitarian Service goals listed in the Presidential Citation brochure.


Related:

Make a splash, it’s World Water Day!

By Ellina Kushnir, RI Programs staff

22 March, World Water Day, reminds us to celebrate our achievements and commit to further advancements related to accessing clean water, sanitation facilities, and employing hygienic practices. Sustainable water resources are critical to reducing poverty, improving education opportunities for youth, and alleviating health-related complications.

Today we recognize the countless hours our Rotary family dedicates to water, sanitation, and hygiene education efforts including:

While we have helped make great strides within the water and sanitation area of focus, 748 million people do not have access to an improved source of drinking water and 2.5 billion do not use an improved sanitation facility.*

Continue the #WorldWaterDay celebration by:

*March 2015 United Nations Inter-Agency on Water and Sanitation Issues

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Lifecycle of a service project webinar lessons: Part 5

10 tips for monitoring, evaluating, and promoting service project

webinar5By Hilary Leav, Rotary Strategy, Research & Evaluation staff

In general, there are a few key principles to understanding monitoring and evaluation and establishing a good plan.

Part 5 of the Lifecycle of a Service Project webinar series focused on helping the Rotary family compare project goals, evaluate service successes and challenges and maximize sustainability, and promote successful initiatives. Watch a recording of the webinar and read these practical tips to help find project support:

  1. Rotarian Tristam J. stresses that evaluation is never meant to judge people or their actions. It is simply a tool that can help everyone stay on track, shift if necessary to alternative strategies, modify outcomes and redesign resource commitments.
  2. Rotarian Terry Z. says good communication with the group being impacted by the project is key to successful monitoring and evaluation.
  3. Don’t wait to develop your monitoring and evaluation plan until the end of the project. Start thinking about measurement when conducting the needs assessment.  What will success look like and how you will know if you have achieved the results intended as part of the project?  You can then be sure that as you design the project, the proper components are in place to track the results over time and determine if you are making progress or whether adjustments to the project are necessary.
  4. When designing your plan, remember that less is more, particularly if you are just starting out in monitoring and evaluation. Monitoring is simply active involvement in the project’s implementation, making sure that the objectives are being met on the established schedule; evaluation is checking your success against those objectives. Stick to basic, easy to count measures, such as total number of direct beneficiaries, number of teachers trained, or number of wells dug to track your projects. These tangible items are the easiest to track achievement on. Just make sure you do not double count!
  5. Make sure the measures track your progress against your main project objectives. A good monitoring and evaluation plan does not seek to track everything, but rather to highlight success in a few key areas – perhaps more importantly, the most successful projects and monitoring and evaluation plans keep a modest scope!
  6. Your proposed measures should tie directly with your project’s anticipated impact. For example, if you hosted training workshops with primary school teachers and provided new teaching materials for them to implement new teaching methods, it may be interesting to show that attendance increased as a result of your project, but if your goal was to train teachers and provide materials, it may not be necessary to track attendance for this specific project.
  7. Try to identify and track quality measures. Counting activities and participants is a good place to start, but does not necessarily show the quality of the project being implemented. Measures that track increased knowledge, increased capacity for work or income generation, or documented decreased incidence of water-borne diseases are examples of quality measures. A good monitoring and evaluation plan, particularly for a Rotary Foundation funded project, will include financial resources specifically dedicated to monitoring and evaluation. Budget to contract industry professionals that will help you monitor the project as you’re working on it and evaluate it once to assess whether your goals have been met. Rotary does not expect Rotarians to become experts in monitoring and evaluation, just as Rotary does not expect Rotarians to become experts in drilling wells for a water project.
  8. It’s perfectly acceptable – even encouraged – to find local experts to assist you in collecting this information. In many cases, this may be a cooperating organization that you are partnering with. As long as you have ready access to the information and are actively part of the planning and implementation process, use the experts as needed!
  9. Share your story. Promote your success on Rotary Showcase, through local media channels, and online via blogs, websites, and social media.
  10. Use your story as a marketing tool for your service project. If people see and hear your story and are inspired by the impact you’ve made, they’ll be more likely to support your future service projects. Remember: your images and words are your club’s personal brand.


Visit My Rotary for additional project lifecycle resources.