The 2013 introduction of EWB-USA’s impact assessment program of our international community programs served as an invitation to our members, staff and Board to play a part in our culture of learning. Learning about, and from, our impact has captured the interest of many of our members. This blog series will highlight those of you who contribute significantly to EWB-USA’s organizational learning.
For more information about how we continually improve from lessons in the field, read about our
Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Program >>
Chris Turnbull-Grimes has been an EWB-USA member since he was a student at Colorado State University in 2006. In 2009, he served as the project manager during the construction of the San Antonio Abad, El Salvador, water system. After graduation, he joined the EWB-USA Denver Professional Chapter and served on their board as Membership/Website Chair and Vice President.
In summer 2015, Chris moved to Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, to pursue his own professional development. Not wanting to lose his connection to the work of EWB-USA, he volunteered to conduct the first interim impact review of EWB-USA’s six active Ethiopia programs.
“The development sector has come to the understanding that we need to make sure we’re using our funds and resources in the most effective manner possible. This way, we can know what works and what doesn’t so that we can continually improve our delivery methods,” said Chris. “That all comes down to monitoring and evaluation, which requires data from the field instead of relying on anecdotal evidence.”
There are two types of impact reviews in EWB-USA’s impact analysis program. Interim impact reviews include a review of programs grouped either by discipline or geographic region. The review provides a snapshot in time of the impact EWB-USA is having in the lives of our partners and an opportunity to act on any lessons learned while the program is still active. Closeout impact reviews involve field visits to programs that have been closed for at least three years.
Typically, an interim impact review does not involve field visits, but Chris’ move to Ethiopia afforded EWB-USA the chance to see firsthand the status of our active programs in the country. Chris is reviewing current project reports to get an understanding of the programs’ goals and visiting project sites to learn more about our chapters’ impact in the field. He has visited three of the 14 projects so far, and the review will be completed by early November, with a report to follow at the end of the year. This and other impact review reports will be available on EWB-USA’s website as they are completed.
Chris is a long way from Denver now, but maintains his commitment to the work of EWB-USA from afar. He has been instrumental in getting this first interim impact review program launched and we truly appreciate his enthusiasm for learning about our successes and failures in the field to inform improvements in our project delivery model.
Thank you, Chris, for your lasting commitment to increasing EWB-USA’s positive impact!