I have been taught to remain silent and bear everything as I was born a girl. All my decisions were taken by my father and my brother (even though he is younger than me). Now I have learned to speak up for myself. I want to make my own life choices and say ‘yes’ to whatever that makes me happy, be it going out alone or participating in sports.
A 19-year old woman from the It’s My Body program, Simariya, India.
CREA strives to follow a feminist, participatory, innovative, and non-extractive Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) approach. MEL is really about the impact of our work, so it is about everything that we do and how we do it, and for what transformation: the how and the so what. Our approach aims to mix qualitative and quantitative methods, but places emphasis on qualitative, creative reflective tools to document impact and gather learnings – depending on activity, context and more, wherever possible and suitable, reflective spaces are facilitated to gather self-reflective feedback on impact, instead of making assumptions.
CREA acknowledges that social justice goals are complex and nonlinear, hence require long-term investment of time and resources along with continuous reflection and learning. Our approach aims to foster a continuous process of analysis of the changing context, achievement (or not) of planned results, while connecting back to the theory of change.
We aim to be innovative and creative in how we narrate the impact of our work in our evaluation materials, centering accessibility and diversity of ways we communicate and learn. All of the above is grounded in our belief that such narrative work is transformative in itself. Assessing, understanding, documenting and narrating how change happens is about transforming power and sowing the seeds for system change.
CREA believes impact takes place when shifts occur. To achieve true impact, these shifts are necessary at multiple levels, from individual to collective levels, from structural to norms level.
Framing shifts occur when women, girls, and other structurally excluded persons* begin to see themselves as right bearers with the ability to make choices and decisions around their bodies and sexuality, feeling empowered to question the norms and power structures that affect their lives. Action shifts take place when silenced and marginalized individuals begin to resist and speak out against the violence and discrimination they face; and demand and access their rights and service at the community level. For activists and leaders, it can be the new use of a feminist lens to move from identity-driven work to working on larger women’s rights/sexual rights issues. Organizational impact takes place when new or improved services or work with new groups is offered.
Policy shifts influence the development and implementation of policies relating to women , girls and other structurally excluded persons within State institutions and at the community level. CREA strives for impact at the policy level by supporting and advocating for more informed and inclusive policies and ensuring the great participation of women leaders within policy making bodies. CREA also works with organizations and movements to include a Global South perspective in policy development and ensure the laws and policies related to human rights include a gender perspective and sexual rights lens.
Collective shifts occur when women, girls, and other structurally excluded persons form and join networks at the local, regional, national and global levels, while organizations and movements can focus less on hierarchies of injustices and instead find common ground with other organizations, expanding to new networks that use rights-based approaches.