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PO Box 2826
Carol Stream, Illinois 60132

Toll Free: 1-800-793-9455

© 2024 Opportunity Internationala 501(c)3 nonprofit. EIN: 540907624.

Opportunity as a Learning Organization

Opportunity International is committed to continuously improving our client-responsiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and effectiveness. In-depth research is critical to this organizational learning. Our Knowledge Management team strategically employs a range of monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning methods to help Opportunity: 

Graduation Program Client, Haiti
Graduation Program Client, Haiti

Understand Clients and Markets

Successful programs are based on a thorough knowledge of the people you wish to serve and the environment in which they operate. When we begin or expand initiatives, we ensure that our interventions are accessible and appropriate for our clients. Then, we rely on theories of change to plan for and measure success.

For example, we conducted market research in India to understand how our training is making a difference, and what additional training is in demand.

Guide Innovations

Carefully observing and documenting new projects with a learning lens allows for the expansion of exciting new concepts that show promise, while limiting inefficiencies by learning from past mistakes.

For example, we piloted holistic training to open clients’ minds about how they and their families can grow, and we studied participant response.

Optimize Operations

Opportunities for improvement exist in every facet of our work, so we are constantly looking for ways to help our partners implement more time and cost-efficient processes that ultimately benefit our clients.

For example, we helped clients involved in village-led savings groups use digital technology to keep their group records, saving them valuable time and keeping their savings safe.

Rachel, Fashion Designer, Uganda
Rachel, Fashion Designer, Uganda

Strengthen Program Strategy

We develop program-level theories of change to guide program objectives and identify programmatic areas that could be improved through insights from further research.

We regularly measure program components, including:

  1. Outreach: Who is being served? (e.g. poverty level, gender breakdown)
  2. Scale: How many people are we serving?
  3. Operational Performance: How efficient and sustainable are our operations?
  4. Client-level Outcomes: How are our clients' lives being transformed?

Measure Client Impact

We conduct ongoing evaluation efforts and additional targeted research studies to demonstrate the positive impacts of Opportunity's work on its clients.

We employ a range of methodologies to measure and understand client outcomes, since different research approaches lend themselves to different kinds of insights.

  1. Human-centered research. Facilitated, open-ended interviews allow for a deep understanding of a clients' experience within a program and are especially useful for identifying previously unknown areas of impact.
  2. Client data capture. Opportunity measures relevant client data to report against project targets. For example, in a study among women agricultural finance clients in Ghana, the majority of women increased yields (75%), income (73%) and wellbeing (70%). Most women (88%) also experienced greater decision-making power and better relationships in their households. 
  3. Comparative impact studies. In partnership with leading research institutions, Opportunity engages in rigorous, multi-year studies to measure the impact of services on target clients. For example, a three-year study of 1,600 households in Ghana comparing clients with non-clients confirmed that when smallholder farmers took out an AgFinance loan, spending on agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilizer increased by 42%. These investments led to an increase in farm revenues and ultimately perceived progress in household well-being.

Facilitate Knowledge Exchange

We drive opportunities for learning and engagement between Opportunity partner organizations and within the broader poverty alleviation community by sharing resources and cross-learning activities.

Explore some of our knowledge outputs here

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