The starting point in deciding whether or not to partner with a religious actor should be based on data that clearly highlight the particular value of working together to achieve desired results. Once a decision has been made to partner on an intervention, the jointly created programme design should reflect the value added as an integral and measurable component of the programme framework.
The goal – the long-term change expected as a result of programme interventions – will be focused on the child rights issue of concern. One of the objectives – a key outcome to be achieved by the end of the programme cycle that will lead towards achievement of the goal – might focus on measurable achievements of the religious partner that enhances their contribution to the overall programme accomplishments.
In order to measure progress and achievement, programme implementation would begin with a process to collect baseline information, the starting point of partner and community knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. This is usually done through surveys and individual and group interviews of a representative sample of the community. Once the information is collected and analysed it will help develop relevant and measurable indicators of accomplishment, including the contributions of partners to project outcomes and, possibly, impact. This information is then the reference point for monitoring and evaluation.
Both a needs/resources assessment and situational analysis should explore the roles that religious actors play and the influence they exert in the community in relation to the issue being addressed. Information collected can answer questions such as: