Our evaluations

We know that timely evaluation plays a critical role in understanding the contribution we make in delivering sustainable development.

Rigorous evaluations allow us to:

  • improve what we do, to inform programme development, and
  • prove what we do, so we are accountable to the poor and marginalised communities we serve, donors, partners, and peer organisations.

Evaluation highlights

Recent evaluation highlights include:

Measuring Impact For Learning and Empowerment (MILE)

A practical manual for participatory monitoring, evaluation and learning and forward accountability for VSO programmes

Download the MILE manual (267 KB)

Speak it Loud: End of Project Evaluation, Zimbabwe 2023

This report presents findings of the endline evaluation of the project “Speak it Loud’: - Amplifying the
voices of women’s movements to address Violence Against Women and girls (VAWG) in Mashonaland
Central, Mashonaland West, and Manicaland Provinces in Zimbabwe”. The evaluation was conducted
between January and May 2023 by a team of independent evaluation consultants. The report presents
the key findings of the evaluation, key conclusions and recommendations. 

Download the Speak it Loud project evaluation (PDF, 1.98MB)

Evidence of Policy Engagement and Advocacy in VSO Programmes: 2022-23

In the 2022-2023 project year, VSO project teams nine countries submitted reports of 22 projects that supported policy advocacy initiatives. Twelve of these were policy actions, 10 were advocacy for various issues including uptake of the Global Volunteering standard. Status of actions at the close of the year varied, nine projects had supported initiatives in the early consultative stages prior to drafting of policy documents, seven supported drafting of policy documents, two projects completed their advocacy actions and four projects supported policy operationalization.

Download Evidence of Policy Engagement and Advocacy in VSO Programmes (PDF, 808KB)

Volunteering for Development: Evidence in Resilient and Inclusive Education Outcomes 2022-23

Inclusive and Resilient Education (IRE) is a major portfolio of VSO covering a plethora of interventions, broadly aimed at ensuring access, learning achievement and education system strengthening.

Portfolio of projects are aimed at creating equal access to education of different levels (ECCE, primary, vocational), access to out of school children, achieving learning age appropriate outcomes, parental motivation, demand creation and participation, quality improvement and advocacy towards systemic and policy reforms. 

Download: Volunteering for Development: Evidence in Resilient and Inclusive Education Outcomes (PDF, 578KB)


Volunteering for Development: Evidence in GSLA outcomes in VSO Programmes 2022-23

GSLA is a low-cost financial service founded on the principle of fund pooling designed to serve the very poor whose income is irregular and high risk to microfinance institutions. GSLAs provide affordable credit for borrowers and return on their savings that typically exceed those that any formal institution could provide. 

Download Volunteering for Development: Evidence in GSLA (PDF, 791KB)

Volunteering for Development: Evidence in Agroecology outcomes in VSO Programmes 2022-23

VSO defines Agroecology as a climate resilient farming approach which includes locally appropriate practices and leads to greater resilience. It is more than a set of techniques; Agroecology is also a movement of smallholder food producers. It emphasizes local economies and food systems which means  shorter supply chains. It will make our food system more robust against extreme climate change fueled
weather and other shocks, such as the instability that we are now witnessing considering the war.

Download Volunteering for Development: Evidence in Agroecology (PDF, 1.25MB)

Scaling HIV/SRH Education through Football Coaching in Southern Africa, end of project evaluation

VSO and Tackle (previosley Tackle Africa) implemented the “Scaling HIV/SRH education through football coaching in Southern Africa” project in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in collaboration with correctional services to increase prison inmates’ knowledge of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR), SGBV and HIV and AIDS through football coaching, with astonishing impact. Take a look at our Tackle end of project evaluation to find out more.

Download the evaluation (PDF, 2.59 MB)

Evaluating Zambia's TALK II project impact on Adolescent Sexual Health and Rights

In Zambia, many adolescents and youth have unmet needs for access to contraception, and inadequate knowledge about their sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR). VSO's TALK II project enhanced the SRHR services and practices for girls and boys aged 10 to 19 years in Samfya District, Zambia. Using a powerful technology, Talking Books, we enhanced SRHR knowledge and practices shared by peer educators and community volunteers with marginalised youth.

Download the evaluation (PDF, 963KB)

Evaluation of twinning partnership: Nyagatare District Hospital (Rwanda) and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

Report assessing the impact of the twinning partnership between Nyagatare District Hospital (NDH) in Rwanda and Lewisham Sexual Health Services (LSHS) within Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (LGT) in the UK.

Full report and Executive summary

Annual Impact Report: Kenya 2020-21

This year saw many adjustments and adaptations to our programmes, majorly due to the continuing impact of COVID-19. In Kenya, we aimed to reach the most marginalised, vulnerable, and hard to reach children, women, youth and people with disabilities within communities. This report analyses the impact and reach of operations in Kenya during the past year.

Download the annual impact report [PDF, 3.04MB]

Evaluation of home-based Early Childhood Care and Education for Rohingya refugees

As part of our Education in Emergencies project, we are supporting over 6,600 Rohingya children aged 3-14 in Jamtali Rohingya Camp, Bangladesh to access Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) in a safe environment.

This evaluation examines the effectiveness of home-based ECCE in the camp, finding that:

  • older sisters and mothers who act as community volunteers have developed a sense of ownership through their involvement in the project;
  • home-based education is preferred, with over 98% of parents satisfied with the cleanliness, location and safety of the home-based centres;
  • most parents and teachers are positive about changes in children's learning and behaviour as a result of the project;
  • as part of a wider package of interventions, the project has contributed to a reduction in the percentage of children without access to education, which has reduced to 16% in July 2019.

Download the summary evaluation [PDF]

ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation

Commissioned by VSO, and delivered by NEF Consulting, the ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation explores the long term return on investment of youth volunteering, finding that for every £1 spent on the ICS programme, an estimated £4.64 in social value is created.

Find out more about the ICS Social Return on Investment Evaluation

Meta-evaluation and synthesis review


In 2016 we conducted a review of 26 VSO evaluation reports, covering our work in specific countries and individual programmes.  

The aims were to:

  • review the quality of existing evidence and identify key areas for improvement;
  • analyse the collection of evidence to understand the collective impact of our work;
  • identify and understand trends in our impact and sustainability across different contexts, core approaches and core programme areas (education, health and livelihoods).

Find out more about the Meta-evaluation and synthesis review

Value for Money: CASH Tanzania

The findings from CASH, a project to empower smallholder farmers to participate in a higher return market and transform agriculture from subsistence activity to a profitable enterprise.

More information:

Download the Project Evaluation - Value For Money CASH Tanzania [PDF]

Download the VSO management response [PDF]

Download the Social Cost Benefit Analysis of the CASH project [Excel]

Approaches to National Volunteering, VSO Nigeria

Understanding the contribution of national volunteering models towards programme and project objectives and outcomes in Nigeria.

Download the Evaluation of approaches to National Volunteering, VSO Nigeria [PDF]

Sri Lanka post-closure evaluation

One year after we finished working in Sri Lanka, 75% of the skills, income, and process developments that we supported are being sustained, highlighting the effectiveness and continued positive impact of our approach to capacity development.

Find out more about our Sri Lanka post-closure evaluation

Cameroon post-closure evaluation

The post-closure evaluation in Cameroon tested and examined VSO’s assumptions about building capacity of local partner organisations, and the impact this has.

Download the Cameroon post-closure evaluation report [PDF]

Youth volunteering contribution to sexual reproductive health development results in Baglung, Nepal

Understanding and documenting the effects of the VSO ICS programme on sexual reproductive health.

Download the Youth volunteering contribution to SRH development results in Baglung report [PDF]

Youth community volunteering in Bangladesh

Increasing understanding of how youth community volunteers contribute towards VSO development objectives.

Download the Youth community volunteering in Bangladesh report [PDF]

Further information

For further information and to access more of our evaluations, contact Miriam Karim, Knowledge and Learning Coordinator: miriam.karim@vsoint.org

People read a VSO document as part of the One Community, One Family research project in Nepal
Suraj Ratna Shakya

Our research

Our research helps us continuously improve, innovate and shape our development priorities.

Our evaluation strategy

How we work to embed an organisation-wide culture of learning and evaluation.