Impact Report 2016

youth · energy · change

Raleigh in 2016

This Impact Report highlights the achievements of our young people, volunteers, alumni and staff across 2016. It shows how young people working in partnership with civil society, the private sector, government and, most importantly, their own communities, can help to tackle global problems of poverty and development.

Throughout the year we delivered programmes in five countries: Nepal, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Costa Rica and Malaysian Borneo. We worked in over 200 rural communities reaching over 100,000 people, directly and indirectly impacting over 400,000 people.

We also developed and implemented skills-based volunteering programmes through our strong partnerships in 2016. In Nicaragua and Tanzania Google employees trained young entrepreneurs, whilst in Nepal BNP Paribas (Suisse) SA worked with entrepreneurial youth.

We hosted the second Global Alumni and National Societies Conference in London, four years after the inaugural conference. We welcomed over 200 alumni from 21 countries to the event, cementing our Global Alliance for Youth relationships.

A significant milestone in our development was reaching the end of our 2013-2016 strategy this year. Looking back on our achievements and challenges over the strategic period, we carried out extensive consultations in 2016 with stakeholders, beneficiaries, staff and alumni in order to inform the development of our new strategy for 2017-2020.

This Impact Report shows what we have learnt this year about engaging youth as partners and leaders in development. It demonstrates how the contribution of young people to the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development can clearly be evidenced when they are empowered and given a platform. It recognises that our unique delivery models facilitate change through youth empowerment. It shows why we will put young people at the heart of developing, designing, measuring and implementing our programmes over the next four years.

Why youth?

It is young people from all over the world who deliver Raleigh’s work. In 2016, more than 2,000 young people from over 30 countries worked in partnership with rural communities, businesses and government to be powerful catalysts for change.

Through our programmes, we offered local and international young people opportunities to become active, skilled and employable citizens. We continued to help them to develop the confidence and to gain the experience necessary to become empowered, effective and energetic partners in development.

Impact Report 2016

A summary of our sustainable development achievements in 2016

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Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

Raleigh continued to deliver WASH programmes in every programme country in 2016. Our youth-led, inclusive approach focused on increasing access to safe water and sanitation facilities, creating behaviour change, and empowering individuals and communities to improve hygiene and sanitation practices.

In Nepal, we launched the Inspiring Youth Through Active Citizenship (INSAC) project. Its WASH component supported over 25 communities to construct or fix water systems and latrines in areas particularly affected by the 2015 earthquakes.

Our ‘Improving Hygiene Behaviours and Access to School Sanitation’ project in Tanzania developed sanitation infrastructure in 38 schools. It supported children to set up SWASH (School WASH) clubs to maintain sanitation facilities and champion effective hygiene practices long after Raleigh projects come to an end.

Evaluating our WASH projects

In 2016, we evaluated infrastructure projects and outcomes of hygiene and sanitation training completed earlier in the year in Nicaragua and Tanzania. Longer term evaluations were carried out on projects in Borneo that were completed between 2010 and 2015.

In Tanzania, 95% of participants noticed an increased understanding of positive health and hygiene practices amongst children involved in SWASH clubs and their families. Two thirds of participants in Nicaragua reported consistent and sustained use of safe health and sanitation practices throughout their community; more than half (52%) reported that water-related illnesses in their communities had reduced. All water systems in Borneo projects were continuing to provide reliable sources of safe water to families, and evidence showed a decrease in cases of diarrhoea.


people directly reached through WASH infrastructure


safe sanitation structures built or rehabilitated


community members trained in WASH promotion


WASH management committees established or strengthened


people reached through raising awareness of safe WASH practices

In action: Northern Nicaragua Clean Drinking Water

In 2016, Raleigh partnered with Jersey Overseas Aid to deliver the Northern Nicaragua Clean Drinking Water project. It aimed at providing rural communities with improved access to safe drinking water through infrastructure construction, as well as empowering community-based WASH management committees with the knowledge and skills to establish and maintain infrastructure.

International and local volunteers worked alongside seven communities to construct gravity-fed water systems, providing over 1,100 people with access to safe water. To ensure sustainability, volunteers facilitated the establishment of six local WASH management committees, comprising local women, young people and community leaders to manage and protect their water sources, and maintain all related infrastructure. The committees were trained on how to protect their watersheds and ensure participation of communities, particularly marginalised groups, in the local governance of water provision.

With climate change impacting water scarcity in this region, these communities have increased their resilience to any shocks that may impact on their livelihoods. Through the engagement of local government, each of the newly established committees has been certified, ensuring sustainability through continued access to local expertise and funding.

A volunteer takes notes while speaking to a community member

When the volunteers were here in the community, the houses uphill started consciously to manage their water usage so that water could reach all parts of the community. Soon we won’t need to go down to the river at all to collect water. This will save a lot of time.”

– Betty, Community member, El Terrero, Nicaragua

Community resilience

Our community resilience projects provided inclusive programming to increase community cohesion, participation in education and learning across 112 communities. Working with and through youth, we empowered over 22,500 people to tackle daily issues that face them and their families.

In Nepal, Nicaragua and Tanzania, our volunteers inspired, trained and coached over 800 rural youth to become entrepreneurs in 2016.

Across all delivery countries, we also constructed or renovated 30 community-based buildings. In Costa Rica, Malaysian Borneo and Tanzania, young volunteers worked with communities to build nine new learning centres that will provide hundreds of young children with access to crucial early-years education, and give communities a space to host other income generating and educational activities. In Nepal, volunteers, local project partners and community members worked together to build 21 earthquake resilient houses, while training local people in how to make the specialist bricks themselves, so they are readily available for future construction.

Evauluating our community resilience projects

In 2016, we evaluated the impact of livelihoods projects in Tanzania that had been completed by volunteers earlier in the year. 85% of business set up during the programme were still running six months later. Entrepreneurs who were no longer running their businesses were confident that they had the knowledge to set one up in the future. These evaluations also identified a key area for development in our programming, with participants requesting further support following the completion of training from Raleigh volunteers.

These evaluations led us to implement new projects later in 2016, offering skills-based volunteering programmes. These provided follow-up support and mentorship to graduates after they had completed initial entrepreneurship training.


community based buildings constructed or renovated


young people trained in entrepreneurship


people reached through community resilience awareness raising


young people set up new enterprises


mentors providing support to young entrepreneurs

In action: Google and Raleigh Tanzania

In October 2016, 11 employees from sales, marketing and business functions within Google EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) participated in a skills-based volunteering programme in Tanzania to provide followup to 25 young graduates of previous Raleigh projects. Over 16 days they delivered tailored business training and mentoring, based on topics identified by the entrepreneurs themselves.

Each participating entrepreneur identified and selfassessed three key areas for improvement, and rated their skill levels before and after the programme. Average scores across all skills increased by 56%, while entrepreneurs’ confidence in setting up and running a successful business increased by a third. 84% of entrepreneurs rated the programme as excellent, while the rest rated it as good.

Each Google volunteer gave feedback on their own development, too. 90% felt that they would improve in their own jobs because of their experience with Raleigh. 86% of participants believed that Google, as a company, would benefit from their new knowledge and skills.

A volunteer wearing a Google t-shirt speaks to young entrepreneurs

“The volunteers gave me the knowledge I needed to be able to start my own business. From now on, I will be working hard so I can expand it. I think it’s important to start small businesses in the community because it empowers youth. It can give them something to work on which will help the community. I also hope to teach other local youth about how to open their own businesses so that they can become successful like me.”

– Christer, Youth entrepreneur, Mbozi Village, Tanzania

National resource management (NRM)

Our NRM programmes focused on supporting sustainable management and effective conservation of biodiversity in Costa Rica, Malaysian Borneo and Tanzania. Our volunteers built infrastructure that improved access for scientific researchers and reduced the potential for illegal logging and poaching. They developed the skills, knowledge and confidence to build capacity of rural communities, raise awareness of environmental issues, and call for policy changes. Young volunteers engaged with communities, managers of protected areas, forestry departments and small-scale producers to drive this action.

In Costa Rica and Malaysian Borneo, our volunteers worked with authorities of five national parks. They developed infrastructure, engaged with nearby communities and created access to protected areas for scientists and researchers to support the protection of endangered species and habitats.

In Malaysian Borneo, we trialled our first Awareness to Action workshop on climate change at the Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Centre, in partnership with the United States Embassy in Malaysia, the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre and the Land Empowerment, Animals, People (LEAP). Volunteers worked with 30 young people from four schools in the community to drive local behaviour change around environmental issues.

In Tanzania, some groups of volunteers established ten tree nurseries to protect natural forests and contribute to future income generation for local people, while other volunteers worked to reduce human-elephant conflict and enhance opportunities for local livelihoods. 92% of community members from participating communities demonstrated increased knowledge and awareness of the importance of sustainable NRM and reducing human-elephant conflict.


people reached through NRM awareness raising


trees planted


community members provided with training on NRM issues


seedlings transplanted into tree nurseries


metres of forest trails constructed or cleared

In action: Telupid district, Sabah, Borneo

Raleigh Borneo partnered with Forever Sabah, the Tawai Forest Reserve and the community of Kampung Kopuron to strengthen the ecosystem and cultural resilience of communities in the Telupid district of Sabah. Local youth volunteers worked alongside project partners at the reserve to learn about trail maintenance, tree planting and composting, before applying their new skills to their community.

At the reserve, volunteers worked together to transplant nearly 1,600 seedlings to the botanic nursery. Alongside community members they also built a trail, which has been sustainably managed and maintained through the innovative use of composting units. This improved accessibility to the river and created a buffer zone between it and agricultural land, which will allow the community to better monitor their fish stocks, restrict over-fishing and improve water quality.

Through a youth-led approach, and by engaging the community in the design and outcomes of the project, we saw barriers breaking down between local communities and the forestry service. Engaging stakeholders and facilitating relationship building has resulted in sustainable conservation, opening up new opportunities for Raleigh, while empowering communities to take the lead in reducing environmental impacts and establishing livelihoods based on the conservation of natural resources.

Malaysian volunteers work on natural resource management in Borneo

“We need to think and work together on how to solve [climate change]. The Raleigh workshop really helps students a lot on how to solve problems with the environment and also how we can change the mindsets of people about the environment.”

– Schools workshop attendee, Borneo

Building alumni impact

The launch of our national youth programming aims to empower our 42,000 alumni to continue their contribution to change through locally-led Raleigh national societies. This was demonstrated through our Youth for Green Growth programme across Tanzania and Nicaragua.

In action: Youth for Green Growth

In January, we launched the Youth for Green Growth programme with the support of the Oak Foundation in Nicaragua and Tanzania. This provided experiential training and learning opportunities for 81 young people, supporting them to lead social and environmental action and advocacy. Projects in both countries gave young people a platform to forge relationships with policymakers and decision-makers, and empowered them to build awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals among other young people.

Youth for Green Growth, Tanzania

Our Raleigh Tanzania staff worked with volunteers and alumni to organise their first Youth for Green Growth Conference in Dar es Salaam. The event was attended by government ministers, development partners, and more than 130 Tanzanian youth. It attracted media attention from four TV stations, three newspapers and three radio stations. During the event, the alumni-driven Raleigh Tanzania Society launched a social media awareness campaign, #Youth4GreenGrowth, reaching more than 40,000 youth.

Following the success of the conference, Raleigh Tanzania Society created another nationwide campaign to highlight the importance of the whole population taking responsibility for conservation of the natural environment. Entirely youth-led, the #50MillionTrees campaign reached over 100,000 people and has so far inspired the planting of 40,000 trees nationwide. It supported 100 Raleigh alumni to host 50 environmental awareness raising sessions on tree planting, reaching 10,000 people.

Raleigh Tanzania Society estimate that over 200,000 people were reached through their campaigns. Following the completion of their activities, the Tanzanian government announced a policy that will see every student in the country plant a tree while at school.

“One of the things that the Raleigh Tanzania Society has advised the government to do is give support to all people who are volunteering. They use their passion to initiate and establish campaigns that can really make a difference.”

– Peter Lazaro, Raleigh Tanzania Society Communications Officer

Youth for Green Growth, Nicaragua

Members of the alumni-driven Raleigh Nicaragua Society, Sociedad Raleigh Nicaragua, created a campaign to promote the rejection, reuse and recycling of plastic products. At its launch event Sin Plástico (Without Plastic) received public support from other charities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private organisations in Nicaragua. It was highly visible in national and local media, with 15 appearances across five TV channels and two radio stations, as well as coverage in two newspapers. The campaign reached more than 25,000 young people through social media and public activities, as well as over 100,000 indirect beneficiaries.

Alongside staff at Raleigh Nicaragua, Sociedad Raleigh Nicaragua organised a fair and concert, sponsored by Pepsi, to raise local awareness of the impact of plastic on the environment. Over 250 people attended with 93kg of plastic being collected for recycling during the event and 400 trees given out to attendees for replanting.

Alumni hosted an ecological competition to engage their peers with hosting smaller events on leadership, environmental education, waste management and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). The winner was a recycling and reuse workshop for secondary schools held in collaboration with other NGOs, private sector organisations and the Nicaraguan WASH network. It was attended by more than 125 young people.

The success of the campaign resulted in a joint statement by the national WASH network. They committed to monitoring and strengthening the community management of WASH in rural areas, as well as fostering strategic alliances with the private and public sectors, and integrating climate change adaptation and risk management measures into future WASH programme design.

Because of their collaborative work, the Society forged new partnerships with five Nicaraguan organisations to support future efforts on green growth. They were invited to participate in national events and forums on environmental issues. The Society also defined its own structure and strategy, resulting in the election of 13 national delegates and four board members.

Volunteers from the Sin Plastico campaign in Nicaragua

“The intention is to put into practice a good environmental awareness and create a culture of reducing and reusing plastic in Nicaragua.”

– Mauricio, Sin Plástico ecological competition winner

Where next?

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL)

In 2016, we reflected on the increasing impact of our work. Using the learning we had gained throughout the last strategy period, we created standardised tools for defining and collecting data across our thematic areas. This ensures we can gather the same range and quality of data for each project, so we can compare insights across our delivery countries, as well as at the community level.

We learnt how to overcome the challenges we face when defining impact and collecting data in our projects. From collaboratively building projects at the initial design phase, to carefully researching every community before beginning work, we implemented new ways of engaging young people and tailoring our programming to local requirements. We have seen the possibilities for increasing capacity for MEAL and for delivering stronger impact data.

While developing our 2017-2020 strategy, Young People Driving Sustainable Development, we incorporated our learning into new approaches to MEAL. This focuses on three key methods for increasing our impact reporting:

Ensuring consistency

We will create plans that demonstrate our impact at project, country and global levels. We will derive all metrics and outcomes from global thematic plans. This will ensure consistency in reporting across projects, communities and countries.

Improving systems

We recognise the need for using clear systems to manage our impact. This includes investment in software and hardware, alongside clear guidelines and processes throughout the project lifecycle. This will also cover capacity building for our permanent country staff.

Developing methodological approaches

We will develop our methodologies to ensure simplicity that allows volunteers to deliver our MEAL processes on the ground, enhancing the accuracy of results across our projects.

Where next?

We recognise the need to keep learning, and to contribute an understanding of our model to the whole development sector. We want to give stronger evidence of the impact possible when facilitating change with, and through, young people. Over the next strategic period, we will clearly demonstrate the added value of utilising youth volunteers as development actors.

Young people driving sustainable development

Raleigh International Strategy 2017-2020

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