Girls’ Voices, Girls’ Priorities: Participatory, Innovative Tools for Capturing Girls’ Realities and Understanding Changes in their Lives
All around the world, organizations working with girls know that they are shaping girls’ pathways and possibilities in both visible and invisible ways.
Guided by a belief in girls’ capacity for contribution, a commitment to giving girls equal access to opportunities, and a desire to equip girls to depend on themselves, these organizations are reaching girls at a pivotal moment of their lives—as they pass from childhood to adulthood, negotiate old relationships and form new ones, build skills, care for others, and make future plans.
Participating in an organization’s programs may be one activity among many in girls’ busy lives but, as most girl-serving organizations know, the opportunity to learn a new skill, build friendships and solidarity with other girls, become empowered, or become an agent of community change, can all have a profound impact on girls’ lives and futures.
Yet it is challenging to find tools or develop processes that adequately capture and convey the complexity of girls’ realities, as well as the impact that a program is having on their lives—especially tools that girls can participate in developing and applying. Traditional methods of research and evaluation can leave organizations feeling that the information they have gathered does not tell the real story of how girls are changing and growing through participation in a program.
This toolkit is designed to help meet that challenge. It draws on the work of different organizations, activists, and researchers with a history of working in partnership with girls to transform their horizons and create change in their communities and countries.
The toolkit shares innovative, participatory tools and strategies designed to:
- capture changes in girls’ lives
- understand the complexity of girls’ realities in the communities where you work
- assess and increase girls’ participation in your organization
- improve the quality of your girl-serving programs
- spark action and reflection
- showcase the value of your work with girls
all the while, engaging and empowering girls as partners in the process.