Impact

As part of our practice at G Day, we are always looking for ways to understand and improve our impact. To that end, we survey all participants. In January 2016 we asked Rebecca Gibbons, a UBC Masters of Public Health student, to assess the impact of the three G Days that took place the previous year (Toronto – April 2015, Victoria – September 2015, and Vancouver – October 2015).

The evaluation was designed to:

  • Assess the impact of G Day on Girls and Champions
  • Assess the program progress and implementation findings
  • Summarize key learnings in order to improve G Day’s programming

Background

Adolescent girls tend to have a lower sense of self-worth than younger, more self-assured girls. Generally, people with low self-esteem are more easily influenced by others, allow for mistreatment in order to be accepted, and are vulnerable to exploitation. Furthermore, they tend to have low resilience, and find it difficult to bounce back in the face of adversity.

Fortunately, research has shown that girls who receive the right kind of support at the right time, can improve their self-esteem, mental health, and resilience in the face of crisis.  

There are critical factors, known in the research as “protective factors,” that are most important for developing resiliency; two of these include confidence and connectedness. Girls who feel strong in these areas are more likely to navigate the challenges of teen years successfully and become strong young women.

It is G Day’s goal to provide a unique experience of connectedness.

Methodology and Scope

This preliminary evaluation of G Day aimed to determine the impact of G Day on Girls and Champions. The results of this evaluation are quite positive and highlight an event that has played a valuable role in the lives of girls aged 9 to 13. The impact of G Day was explored through self-rating and open-ended qualitative descriptions from Girls and Champions.

Although it is not possible to assess the long-term impact of G Day due to lack of available data, on the day of the event, the program contributed to areas that research has demonstrated to be key protective factors. The two factors crucial to building resilience in girls that were commented on frequently by program participants  included self-confidence, and a sense of belonging or connectedness.

With respect to the process evaluation, the results are also quite positive. The evaluation conducted a preliminary assessment of the extent to which G Day is consistent with best practices of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. While there is room for improvement in some areas, G Day seems to be doing a good job of providing a happy, safe, comfortable space, and providing a range of activities for Girls with diverse interests.

Findings

The evaluation findings reveal overwhelmingly positive feedback about the program. They also find that G Day contributes to the development of key fundamental building blocks for Girls to increase their self-esteem, become more resilient, and be more likely to grow up into strong young women.

These building blocks for girls supported by G Day were connectedness/sense of belonging (i.e. connection to sisterhood, strengthened relationships between Girls, and Girls and Champions), and self-confidence (i.e. highlighting positive qualities of being a girl, focusing on strengths and skills, etc.)

The Champions personally benefited and experienced positive impacts from attending G Day. The impact of G Day on Champions relates to improved confidence in their parenting, empathy, as well as knowledge and skills to support their Girl. Many felt that their presence had a positive impact on their girls.