Introducing MEAL

This is the first year Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) has been fully implemented at ASYV. We’re learning so much about our students and programs, and starting to make some exciting changes!

For the first time, the MEAL team collected baseline data on all new students. Baseline data includes recruitment data, answers to the Intake form completed by students’ guardians on their first day, information from students’ physical and psychosocial evaluations, and their answers to two surveys, DAP (Developmental Asset Profile) and KAP (Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices) administered in their first few weeks at ASYV. With this information we’ve learned about both individuals’ and the entire grade’s health, psychological, academic, and social vulnerabilities. With this information we’re able to tailor our programs to meet this new grades needs, as well as help the student’s ‘Family Mamas’ and Health and Wellness staff make better informed decisions about individual’s care. This baseline data will also enable us to track students’ progress throughout their four years at ASYV. We will administer the same survey to them when they leave the Village, which will enable us to measure our impact and their growth as a grade and as individuals.

During this term, we will send out a revamped Alumni Survey that will better assess ASYV’s long-term impact. The MEAL team is also working with Health and Wellness to create a referral program for alumni who need medical or psychological services. With these tools, we hope to hone and improve our programs targeted at preparing our students for the outside world once they graduate.

We’ve also digitized attendance both at school and in our Enrichment Programs to ensure that every one in the village and not only teachers know their kids’ attendance records, worked with each department individually to develop their Annual Action Plans, and we are in the process of creating a monitoring system that will help ASYV ‘Mamas’ monitor their kids’ involvement in the family and keep track of their development. The familial monitoring system collects different sets of data on daily, weekly, and monthly basses. It looks at each kid’s participation during family time, adherence to chores, relationships with other members of the family and other kids outside of the family, and any general health updates not seen at the clinic, while providing Mamas an additional platform to express concerns about specific kids. The MEAL team is also in the process of setting up databases that will help departments better communicate and collaborate, improve monitoring and evaluation of both programs and kids, and will digitize information in the village, making it more accessible and useable. The first of these databases is a Health and Wellness database, used by both nurses and psychosocial workers. It helps standardize procedures and maintain records so that all staff have easy access to every child’s record for their four years at ASYV. We are very excited about the second database, which is a village-wide SalesForce database that will contain a profile for each student that includes information from every department, as well as information from recruitment on their background and guardian. This system will help us find individualized solutions to help each student health and thrive. It will also help the MEAL team better analyze programmatic effectiveness and make the analysis readily accessible to the entire village.

This term, the MEAL team has begun a collaboration with Health and Wellness and Parental Wholeness to do a complete overhaul of ASYV’s Individual Evaluation process, which will now be run by Health and Wellness. Starting in May we will begin training our recruitment team. The recruitment process is also now digitized, which will significantly improve our recruitment process from interviewing potential candidates to sending out acceptances. 

We are very much looking forward to implementing all these changes at ASYV! We’re learning more about our students and fine-tuning our programs to best meet each students needs as individuals. Digitizing our processes will make information accessible and useable, and will help departments collaborate and share information.  We’re eager to watch this new culture of monitoring and evaluation take hold in the Village and see how we can harness information to help us keep working in the best interests of the child.