Impartial research validates Viva’s multiplier effect

A major piece of independent research from a US-based institute has concluded that Viva’s distinctive model “has strong promise for ultimately advancing large-scale, sustainable transformation in the lives of vulnerable children in the countries it serves”.

The comprehensive review of the effectiveness of our work was carried out by the Sagamore Institute for Public Policy in Indianapolis.

Through using our strategic documents, by surveying and interviewing our staff, partner networks and their members, and seeing the work first-hand in Uganda and Honduras, Sagamore was able to piece together a picture of Viva’s impact across 28 countries.

The report, entitled ‘Multiplying quality care for vulnerable children’, found that:

  • 94% of leaders of individual network member organisations had increased the number of vulnerable children served, specifically as a result of their involvement in the network or network trainings.
  • 80% of network co-ordinators said that the majority of organisations had implemented new practices to bring out better programme quality, specifically through network participation.
  • 88% of individual members said that being part of a network has helped them avoid burn-out.
  • 74% of Viva partner networks now have formal agreements with city authorities

Speaking at a recent event in Washington DC, the project leader and Sagamore’s Senior Fellow, Amy Sherman (above), said, “In partnership with Viva we wanted to do three things.

“One was figure out how to articulate this very powerful, and yet really quite complicated, model. Secondly, to try to document their distinctives and the value-add that they bring within this whole field of Christian relief and development.

“And then, thirdly – and this is of course most of the effort – to actually assess what practical impact on the ground the networks are having.”

Amy’s research looked at the depth, scale, quality, transformative impact, sustainability and influence of Viva’s model and effectiveness, concluding that:

Viva is implementing a sophisticated strategy for tackling the massive and complex challenges facing vulnerable children worldwide. This strategy is leveraging the power of grassroots networks to multiply the scale and reach of services for these children; improve service quality; nurture changes in cultural attitudes that devalue children; and enhance influence on public policy reforms that can bring about changes to the underlying, systemic causes of persistent child poverty and abuse.”

It is, of course, hugely encouraging to have an independent validation of what we do. At the same event in Washington DC, our CEO, Mark Stavers, and Head of Network Development, Brian Wilkinson responded to Sagamore’s research report.

Brian said, “We have demonstrated that we are building the grassroot players in a way that many others aren’t doing. And we’re proud of that. These are the people that we believe in and want to encourage. These are the people that get our hearts. Twenty-one years ago I went to Cape Town and I met some of these amazing local saints. It changed my heart forever and I’ve been in Viva, because of those people that I met. And everywhere I go – every city, every location, every visit – I meet more of those heroes. They are the people that deserve our help.”

Mark added, “Wherever Viva works we achieve bigger work for vulnerable children, better work for vulnerable children, longer-lasting work for vulnerable children, and those who work with vulnerable children have a louder voice with those making decisions in their cities.”

Click below to watch a five-minute summary video of the Sagamore research presentation, and click here to download and read the executive summary document.

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