Making Our List, Checking It Twice

TYO’s work is incredibly rewarding. When we are in session, approximately 500 people walk through our doors every day ready to make a positive impact on themselves or the people we work alongside. One of the most rewarding elements of our work is when we see real improvement and benefit to our beneficiaries every day lives. When one of our APWE micro-enterprise entrepreneurs increases their profit, or a STEP! II student exhibits a firmer grasp on the English language, or simply when a Core Child Program participant takes a homemade card home to his or her mother we know we are doing something right. Without seeing any direct results of all the hours and effort put into an organizational or programmatic goal, it is easy to feel overwhelmed especially given the unique challenges facing here in Palestine. What's more, growth and improvement takes more than encouragement and inspiration, it also takes determination, doggedness, and rigor. Kifayah and Iman pause for a photo during a Monitoring and Evaluation focus group.

TYO is currently in the midst of our Advancing Palestinian Women Entrepreneurs program. The objective of APWE is to empower women entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools and skills needed to grow profitable and sustainable businesses that are scalable and facilitate job creation. One of the ways that we ensure we are moving in this direction is by implementing a series of Monitoring and Evaluation tools (ie: surveys, focus groups, and training pre and post assessments) to ensure we are maximizing our impact and delivering the most effective project possible. While TYO programs have always included an evaluation element, APWE’s M&E component has allowed us to track the women’s progression and change project implementation based on the results of various M&E results. Thanks to this element to APWE, we are learning how to refine our project and have an even more positive impact on our beneficiaries’ lives!

- Vanessa, Women’s Empowerment Program Coordinator