Improving Character Development Programs in Latin America Through Communities of Practice
TWCF Number
Project Duration
February 15 / 2023
- February 14 / 2025
Core Funding Area
Character Virtue Development
South America
Amount Awarded

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Rodrigo Antonio Merino Arango
Institution Alianza Latinoamericana y del Caribe de Asociaciones Cristianas de Jóvenes, AC

Rodrigo Merino Arango and Daniel Galán Aguilar of YMCA Latinoamérica y Caribe (LACA YMCA) lead a project seeking to support youth-serving organizations (YSOs) in Colombia and Peru by building their capacity to collect, analyze, and make meaning of program data using Hello Insight (HI).

HI is an online social and emotional learning (SEL) evaluation platform and tool designed to gauge the impact of character development interventions. Originally developed in the US, with project-level funding from Templeton World Charity Foundation, Phase I of this project adapted HI and its various components for use in Colombia and Peru (HI Latin America).

During the adaptation process, the tool was tested and validated on over 2000 youth across two countries. The team learned that YSO staff need more than just a measurement instrument — they also need time and support to learn about the research behind the instrument and build evaluation capacity. Phase II is designed to address this gap by generating evidence on the degree to which YSOs benefit from capacity-building efforts and use HI Latin America effectively. Best practices and challenges that influence the scalability and sustainability of capacity-building efforts using HI Latin America will be identified.

The project team hypothesizes that YSOs who engage in the formative evaluation journey using the tool will improve their data evaluation and character development capacity, which in turn, will enable them to improve their program and advocacy interventions. To test this hypothesis, the team will engage 10 YSOs in mixed-methods research using surveys, interviews, and outcome-harvesting workshops.

Anticipated outputs include asynchronous online training materials; a multimedia toolkit to understand and use character virtue data; survey tools to assess YSO’s character development and evaluation capacity, and a Lessons Learned report compiling the findings.

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