About Nalamdana‎ > ‎

Testing and Evaluation

How we gather information and know when our programs are successful...

Nalamdana has worked with disadvantaged populations, urban and rural, since 1994. Every issue and project based intervention / communication program is undertaken using an established and proven pre-project (baseline) study. Specific data and information gathered helps us design and execute our need based programs effectively. 

Success of each program is measured by comparing with the predetermined goals (short term and long term) and seeing if the identified measurable indicators have been achieved. Since Nalamdana is a communication group, often the methodologies used are being evaluated, rather than sheer numbers covered. Evaluation is qualitative rather than quantitative, as long term behaviour change is our goal.

Project Goals and Growth
Nalamdana has pre set goals for each individual project depending on it's duration. We are working on various projects of differing lengths (1 year, 3 years, ongoing, etc.) For Example: The South India Girl Child Inititiative is a three year project started in 2006. We have a project plan, bench marks for every year and space to change/modify methods used (mid course correction is possible). 

Communication objectives are clearly defined and the issues we will work on are also listed. Annual sharing and planning happens with the other three NGOS funded under the same project. The method being used is World Education's non formal education techniques.

Pre-Testing and Evaluation

Nalamdana's work: play scripts and materials, are tested in the field, in the community where they will be used. Nalamdana has evolved it's own unique theatre style that draws on the popular stage and film traditions of Tamil Nadu. The audience is mixed - on an average about 750 men, women and children, ranging from ages four to seventy five, attend a street play.

A typical Nalamdana show begins and ends with an evaluation. Weeks before the play is enacted, a pre play survey records current knowledge levels and misconceptions about the relevant health issue in the community. Information about social taboos, cultural mores and habits is collated. This survey also serves as a baseline for knowledge, attitudes and perceptions. 

This information is also woven into the play: characters speak and dress the way the community does; the story is about people like them, the situations on stage mirror their daily lives and common domestic problems are resolved - audience identification with the compelling on stage drama is complete. 

There is a post play interactive session - discussion, arguments, questions and a post play survey - and Nalamdana counsellors go back a day or two later to complete the follow up and hold small group discussions about the issues raised in the play.

Built on theories of strategic behavior change communication, Nalamdana's messages and medium are carefully designed with input from and pre-tested extensively among the intended audience. All products are also evaluated for effectiveness in post intervention interviews and fine-tuned appropriately. Weeks later, interviewers record the level of knowledge retention, action taken by the community and the messages internalized.