The research focused on finding out what domains various development theories measured, such as social capital theories, lack of access-theories, bases of social power-theories. From there on we looked at domains used to measure data by organizations like the UN, World Bank, World Vision, Tearfund, several universities, etc. The researchers also looked at various indexes and data collection methods that were already in use by other organizations, such at the Gross National Happiness Index and Tearfund’s Umoja.
The tool has two functions, assessing and indexing.
The assessment measures these six different development variables and sub variables in a community:
- Living Standards: This would include housing, food, water and sanitation, electricity, and infra-structure.
- Economic Opportunity: This would include employment, self-employment, business opportunity, self-sustainability, farming, and other ventures as they arise.
- Community Life: This would include governance, community self-organizing, cultural heritage, sport, recreation, and other means of developing community.
- Spiritual Life: This would include church life, values, traditional beliefs and religions, superstitions, and other facets of spirituality and values.
And SUB: Vulnerable people: Look at each of the six domains and evaluate how vulnerable people are impacted.
These variables are then put into five points on an index – “1”representing a survive level and “5” representing a thrive level of life. From here we create a holistic development plan to will take communities to a level 5 on all variables.
These instruments allow for us to be able to map and measure the current state of a community and track of the progress of our collective impact initiative in the development of a community.