Report and Success Story Writing Training
by Norah Lay, Communication Volunteer, and Thaileak Nak, Linking and Learning Officer, Live & Learn Cambodia, Linking and Learning Facilitator of Voice in Cambodia
“Be proud to collect impact stories! So we can continue our purpose of amplifying our rightsholders’ voices.” – Linking and Learning Team
Once again, the Linking & Learning team of Live and Learn Cambodia gathered 13 Voice grantee partners together on the 6th and 7th of July 2023 in order to conduct a training in support of their capacity to document the project progresses and amplify voices of rightholder groups. After assessing the grantee partners’ needs, this time, the focus was on developing the technical skill of project reporting and success story writing.
The goal was to equip grantee partners with the technical skills needed to produce good narrative reports and success stories in their projects and community of practice (CoP) based on the context and diverse donor requirements. As Voice-supported projects aim to serve the diversification and intersectionality of rightsholders in relation with the Voice Theory of Change, impact stories should primarily reflect the impact goals that we dream of, a world where rightsholder groups have improved access to (productive) resources (finance, land, and water) and employment; improved access to social services, in particular health and education; and space for citizen participation and engagement. Moreover, along the way of project implementation, Voice’s grantee partners would be able to collect stories of change for the purpose of amplification.
The two-day training was filled with informative presentations and practical sessions accompanied by the concepts of learning by doing and walk-the-talk. The participants were asked to share their experience with writing reports and success stories, revealing that they encountered some struggles in the past. After gaining knowledge on how to write high-quality reports, it was time for the participants to start applying what they have learnt into practice by writing their own reports in small groups. At the end of the first day, two groups presented their works and results still showed that there was room for improvement. But the improvements shined through nonetheless, which indicated the positive impact the training had on the participants.
The second day started off with an intense activity for the participants. To improve their storytelling skills, the participants had three minutes to share their story piece in front of their peers. The story line must revolve around a transformation or turning point that demonstrates a shift from a challenging experience to a good one. All participants prepared these stories in their groups and discussed the contents verbally. The stories shared by each group were all very moving: Lucky Brown Planthopper, The Pathway Not To Give Up, My Raising Children, Unlucky TukTuk Passenger, When I Changed, and The Dream Come True.
For the evening exercise, the groups wrote the stories together after learning about the components of writing an impact story. Some of the stories were presented and received adequate feedback.
One of the success case studies presented documented the positive transformation of a woman suffering from hypertension and who could not afford regular health checkups and medication. She received intervention from HelpAge Cambodia’s (HAC) project which helped assist her in receiving cash transfer and other support. Thanks to the support from HAC, she is able to go to the hospital for regular health checks and medications. She is now improving physically and is able to do housework and even support her two grandchildren. This is a successful case based on Voice’s Theory of Change as it reflects one of our aspirations: a world in which rights-holders have improved access to social services, particularly health and education.
All in all, the two days of training were considered a success since participants felt very satisfied with their results such as: the impact case studies that were produced through walk-the-talk group work and the confidence in presenting their story. Now participants are even more excited to continue learning side by side with the grantee partners in the voice program and other peers. The Linking and Learning team is excited and hopes to collect more impact case studies from the grantee partners after the training. By taking the follow-up action and agreeing on the One grantee partner, One impact case study pact at the 22nd of July 2023, these hopes are sure to be fulfilled!