“Are We Making a Difference?”

A set of qualitative, participatory evaluation tools for monitoring and measuring the impact of psychosocial support programs for children. The tools consist of a series of leader-facilitated group activities (approximately one to two hours in duration) that are based on the following indicators: emotional self-awareness, independence, self-regard/self-worth, social networks, empathy, integration into the community, flexibility, problem-solving, contribution to own basic needs, normalization, skills and knowledge, happiness vs. depression, and optimism and future orientation. Program staff must first decide which of the pre-defined indicators it wishes to measure and then select tools/activities that match selected indicator(s). Each indicator contains three to eight activities, many of which involve group discussions and/or asking the children to draw. Selected children are invited to participate, given an explanation of the purpose of the activities, and then asked for informed consent. Activity groups consist of six to ten children, who should be divided by age groups (i.e. ages 6-10, 11-13, and 14-18). The activities both help children to recognize, understand and express their feelings, and assist staff of psychosocial programs in determining if programs are meeting pre-determined objectives.

Related Publications

Evans, R. (2011). ‘We are managing our own lives…’: Life transitions and care in sibling-headed households affected by AIDS in Tanzania and Uganda. Area, 43(4), 384-396.

What it measures

Pyschosocial and emotional wellbeing


Regional Psychosocial Support Initiatives (REPSSI)


Children aged 6-18 years