Monitoring the impact of Fight for Peace’s work is vital to ensuring that we are delivering the most effective services for young people. We have a small team of colleagues dedicated to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), testing our approaches and their results, and understanding where we can do better.
The MEL team presents the data it collects in a number of formats, one of those being the QLS – the Quarterly Learning Session. This is a moment held every three months where MEL specialists convene a presentation of the key results from the previous quarter, and invite the whole Fight for Peace staff team to discuss, analyse and comment on the findings.
“It’s an opportunity to reflect on what we have done in the last three months, and how that compares to the previous three months, and even previous years,” explains Carolina Velasquez, who, among the many roles she holds at Fight for Peace, is part of the MEL team.
“We highlight the biggest achievements as well as reflecting on numbers that don’t make sense, and things that we might not be doing so well, and make arrangements to improve what’s not going well. We collect so much data, it’s a real strength of ours, and these QLS moments help to make sense of the numbers,” adds Carolina.
The most recent QLS, which reflected on Q3 of 2023, provided some excellent insights, particularly in terms of numbers of young people accessing services at our Academy, and the percentage split of young men and young women.
The results reveal that, up to the end of September, 915 young people had accessed services at Fight for Peace. This represents a huge step forward from some very challenging years in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This figure is higher than the total for the entire 12 months of 2019, the most recent year to top 900 young people.
In Q3 of 2023 alone, 595 young people participated in programmes at our Academy, making it the top quarter in 2023 and higher than any other quarter dating back to 2019. Notably, the results show that young people are also attending Fight for Peace more frequently than in previous years.
Employability sessions – comprising formal training, after training support, 1-1 employment focused mentoring, work experience opportunities, events and trips, job shadowing and sessions with guest speakers – reached almost 100 in the first three quarters of the year, while sessions introduced this year (namely mixed martial arts and female only boxing) are performing very well as measured against capacity numbers.
Perhaps most significantly, the latest QLS results show that 27% of young people accessing our programmes in October of 2023 were girls and young women (this rises to 47% when focusing on Fight for Peace activities other than combat sports). This has been a key focus area for Fight for Peace in recent months with a female engagement working group working hard to ensure that our services benefit all young people in our community, so this is extra pleasing to see.
Big up the MEL team for all of the amazing work they do, collecting and crunching the numbers and convening the QLS sessions every three months to keep our work to the highest standards. And well done team Fight for Peace on the promising results of this latest QLS. There’s always areas of improvement, but this data adds fuel to our continued commitment to fighting the good fight!