By PDG John Philip, Cadre Coordinator for Disease Prevention and Treatment, and member of the Rotary Club of Newbury, England
One of the strengths of the Rotary Foundation is that it has a well-developed process of evaluating humanitarian service projects. As members of the Rotary family, we invest time and skills offering hope to thousands. We do this in different ways, and all of us would like to know the impact of our efforts, which is not always easy. We also donate to worthy causes within Rotary; we know that the funds are substantial – but it is not easy to quantify or measure their impact.
Evaluation of projects is vital because it can not only show us our impact, but also helps improve the way projects are designed and implemented. It also helps to ensure projects meet community needs, they are evidence based, do no harm and more importantly the outcomes are measured.
This is where Cadre of Technical Advisers play a vital role. The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers are a group of Rotarian volunteers with skills in the six areas of focus and training in programme evaluation.
I’ve been a cadre member for disease prevention and treatment for three years and have now been appointed as a technical coordinator along with a colleague from India and another from Ghana. There are about 150 cadre members assisting the Rotary Foundation with evaluating health projects. Cadre members help the Rotary Foundation review, monitor and evaluate projects and ensure grant funds are being used properly.
A Cadre technical coordinator’s assignment may include evaluating the technical feasibility of a proposed project, reporting on the implementation of an ongoing project, or evaluating the impact of a completed project. Specialist cadre auditors also evaluate the financial management of grant funds.
Global grants can appear daunting and the application process sometimes deters Rotarians with excellent project ideas. In 2015-16, there was 10% growth in the number global grants with the most number of grants (378) implemented in the area of disease prevention and treatment. The Rotary Foundation accepts a broad definition for health projects. Grants can be used for capacity building and training, prevention of noncommunicable diseases, improvement of health infrastructure including purchase of equipment, preventing disability, rehabilitation and physical therapy, spectral disorders, mental health, suicide prevention, treatment of substance abuse and depression, as well as scholarships, technology and vehicles that help promote healthier communities.
There is a high need to get involved in health improvement programmes. The grant process is designed to ensure the best use of our resources, it is not meant to deter anyone. Cadre members have the training to help anyone considering a global grant application. If you would like to connect with a local Cadre member for assistance planning or designing a project, contact your district International Service Chair for an introduction to local experts.
The Rotary Foundation needs cadre members in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia in all of our areas of focus. If you have expertise and would like to volunteer your time and skills to The Rotary Foundation, reach out to the Cadre support team at Rotary’s World Headquarters.