#YouthOfUNESCO: Measuring Impact!

22/08/2019

 

Rohit Pothukuchi, the founder of the software Verdentum, is on a mission to measure the real impact behind development work and making monitoring and evaluation accessible for all. Read more about his thoughts behind the initiative.  

“I was really frustrated by the idea of volunteering and not knowing the impact of my actions. What was my drop in the vast ocean of change? Whether it was a tree plantation or a lake clean up. I wanted to know whether my actions made any difference to global issues like climate change – if so, how much? How? Scaling projects seemed impossible and understanding impact seemed even more difficult. Was it even worth spending time doing some of this volunteer work?”

“This is why I founded Verdentum. Its technology platform helps users across the planet to track impact on their projects and volunteer efforts, coordinate team members, scale initiatives and report easily on progress. Impact is a popular buzzword, but to most people impact measurement is still a very confusing concept and tools to measure impact are inaccessible. Most organizations thinking seriously about impact assessment have very large multi-million dollar budgets for projects. What about everyone else? I think we need to empower smaller organizations, students and volunteers with the technology to understand the impact of their actions. Today, Verdentum’s platform is used in over 45 countries by both small organizations/volunteers and leading development-sector institutions. The biggest challenge is creating a platform simple enough that a middle-school student could use it but with the complexity and capability to manage and analyze large-scale multi-million dollar projects as well.”

“One of the key pieces of criticism when it comes to young people, is the fact that youth are not able to provide evidence of their work or its impact. Verdentum hopes to change this by providing young people with the technology required to collect data, understand impact and report with the same level of accountability as a large international institution. Verdentum has already started to empower some young people and groups across the planet to take action. We have worked with different youth-led organizations, for instance in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), where youth have used our technology to report on efforts related to climate change and the oceans. As a social enterprise we provide pro-bono technology to a range of projects that cannot afford technology, but require it. We encourage young people to apply for a grant on our web page if they have a high impact project and require technology.”

-  Rohit Pothukuchi, Founder and Executive Director of Verdentum

***

The UNESCO Youth Programme works to ensure that talented young people’s ideas and skills enact real change in areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence. Youth are no longer just beneficiaries in the organization’s work, but essential actors in finding the solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.