Organizational Development Tool

One of Firelight’s key objectives in working with grantee-partner organizations is to improve their organizational capacity. Firelight developed the Organizational Development Tool as a way to systematically assess capacity, inform targeted capacity building support, and track change in capacity over time. The tool evaluates a community-based organizations’ capacity across eight areas: identity and agency, child rights, structure and function, strategy and programming, relationships, human resources, financial resources, and governance, leadership, and management.

Instructions and sample questions are also available here.

 Program Model Documentation Tool

The goal of this tool is to document program models implemented by community-based organizations, to highlight the factors contributing to their effectiveness. When completed, this documentation can be consolidated and made available to other peer organizations for their review, learning, and possible adaptation/application.

The tool is also available in Swahili and Kinyarwanda.

Girls’ Empowerment Survey

The Girls’ Empowerment Survey aims to capture information on the experiences of adolescent girls with regards to their personal, social, human, financial, and physical assets, as well as their sense of empowerment and wellbeing. The purpose of this survey is to understand girls’ experiences in order to design and evaluate a program that effectively responds to their needs. Instructions are provided to help make the survey a positive experience for the girls and to encourage open and honest feedback.

The survey is also available in Kinyarwanda.

Note: Firelight’s Girls’ Empowerment Survey was developed in 2016. It includes questions adapted from a World Bank survey conducted as part of the Adolescent Girls’ Initiative in Rwanda by the World Bank (2014). This survey includes questions adapted from the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (1965). Additional items were also incorporated based on the specific dimensions Firelight was seeking to examine.

Family ECD Parent/Caregiver Survey

As part of Firelight’s early childhood development (ECD) initiative, we developed and administered a survey to gather data on parent/caregiver outcomes in communities served by our grantee-partners. The survey covers five key areas of parent outcomes: (1) meeting your child’s basic needs, (2) understanding your child’s learning and development, (3) helping your child develop and learn, (4) having support systems, and (5) accessing the community. Findings from the survey can be used to design early childhood development programs that address challenges faced by parents/caregivers in creating supportive, stimulating environments for their young children. 

The survey is also available in Bemba and Swahili. 

Note: Firelight’s Family ECD Parent/Caregiver Survey was developed in early 2015. It was originally inspired by the Family Outcomes Survey (FOS) developed by the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center, a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2010). However, Firelight’s survey looks considerably different from this original version, and is thus considered a separate tool rather than an adapted version of the FOS.

 Community Dialogues (Participatory Learning and Mapping) Tools

As part of Firelight’s initiative to end child marriage in Tanzania, participatory methodologies – “Community Dialogues” – were used to foster conversation with community members and stakeholders including village leaders, religious leaders, school leaders, social workers, healthcare providers, youth leaders, parents/caregivers, and children themselves. This process involved trained facilitators working with both adults and children to collectively identify local strengths and challenges, to creatively brainstorm potential strategies for solving local problems affecting children, and to build on existing community-based structures.

Tools for adults:

  • Community Mapping (adapted from Amsden and van Wynsberghe 2005) - Adults are asked to collaboratively develop a map of their community, specifically identifying the spaces in which children spend time. They discuss each of these spaces for how they support or harm children’s safety and well-being.

  • Power Walk (adapted from Child Fund International 2013) - Using a participatory role play exercise, adults are asked to define indicators of child well-being and identify factors which support and harm children’s safety and well-being.


Tools for children:

  • Body Mapping (adapted from de Jager et al. 2016) - The children make a “body map” by drawing around the shape of a child on large flipchart paper. A vertical line is drawn down the middle of the body map, so that one side represents a happy child showing things that support them, and the other side represents a sad child, showing things that don’t support them. The children are encouraged to use the body map to talk about aspects of their communities that affect them.

  • Happiness Assessment (adapted from Save the Children 2009) - This methodology involves drawing a large H on a flip chart. In the middle, above the horizontal line, children name a space where they spend time. To the left of the left vertical line, children discuss and list factors that support their safety and well-being. To the right of the right vertical line, children discuss and list factors that harm their safety and well-being. In the middle, below the horizontal line, children discuss and list suggestions for improvement– ways in which that space could be improved to better support their safety and well-being.

  • Transect Walk - This methodology involves working with children to identify the spaces in which they spend time (home, school, market, neighborhood, streets/alleys, clinic, ECD center, child care, etc.) and to develop a route to take through the community which passes through as many of these spaces as possible. During the transect walk, children are asked when they visit these spaces, what they do, and with whom they interact.

Child Protection and Safeguarding Assessment

Firelight developed a tool to assess an organization’s capacity in child protection and safeguarding. This tool can be used to engage community-based organizations in developing, refining, and/or implementing their policies and practices that protect and safeguard children.

Monitoring and Evaluation Capacity Assessment

Firelight’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Capacity Assessment is used to determine the level of M&E capacity and systems of a community-based organization and to identify key challenges and strengths in their evaluation systems. It brings together multiple organizational staff members to elicit a dialogue, which can then be used to design appropriate and tailored M&E capacity building activities.

Note: This tool was adapted in 2018 from Capacity for Health’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Capacity Assessment Tool, with questions adapted for the community-based organization context.

Sample Grant Agreement Language

Firelight has developed and refined the grant agreement language below for use in our international grantmaking. The grant agreement has been designed with the intention of keeping the language simple and brief, while still clearly laying out expectations.

Note: The purpose of this document is to share information about Firelight's grantmaking practices. You should always consult with an attorney before signing anything that will affect your legal rights and obligations.