(7th of October 2022) Suva, Fiji – A new tool for measuring impact and capturing Pacific narratives of resilience through storytelling was launched at a side event at the Pacific Climate Justice Summit in Suva yesterday.
The publication entitled, Stories of Impact: CSO Collaboration for a Climate Just Transformation was launched by OiP’s interim Regional Director Eunice Wotene, on behalf of Oxfam’s regional climate change project, the Pacific Climate Change, Collaboration, Influencing and Learning (PACCCIL) project. The publication is meant to challenge traditional monitoring and evaluation tools by introducing a new metric for measuring impact – the use of stories.
Speaking at the event, Ms Wotene said that the conceptualisation of climate justice means that it cannot be considered in isolation from gender justice as it is an intersectional issue, inherently connected to other forms of injustice.
“In recognising the interconnections between Climate Justice, Gender Justice and Economic Justice and the need to focus on the disproportionate impacts of the climate crises on vulnerable groups – we have, in line with our Regional Strategy, invested in initiatives that centre the voices of our partners and amplify calls for locally-led development,” Ms Wotene said.
“This Impact Stories Booklet does just that from the title (which) points to the strong partnerships represented in the PACCCIL project but also Oxfam’s push to amplify and shine a spotlight on the work of our partners. The title alludes to the transformative climate actions that are driven by our partners, and in turn, the transformative impacts they have on their communities.”
“From the stories of the NAB in Vanuatu to the Feminist Convening in the Solomon Islands, we hope that these stories inspire you, and that they challenge accepted standards around how to measure change and impact, showing that stories can be just as powerful a metric as, for instance, checkboxes in a post-evaluation survey,” she said.
Oxfam’s PACCCIL project, funded by the Australian government, focuses on partnering and collaborating with communities and civil society organisations who are mobilising and organising for climate action. The project also focuses on influencing initiatives and harvesting learnings from it, and it is through its work in this area, that it realised that much of the difficulty in measuring the impact of influencing and learning activities stemmed from the quantitative nature of the tools used to measure it.
Expounding on this, PACCCIL’s Project Manager and Capacity Building Adviser, Kesaia Vasutoga, shared how stories are “…delicate, yet powerful instruments to measure change and highlight impact. They may not be quantifiable but there’s a personal connection that people feel when they are shared and that’s a force to be reckoned with”, she said.
Representing the Solomon Islands Climate Action Network (SICAN), Wilson Maeriua described how the PACCCIL project has helped amplify their climate actions, build their relationship with other organisations, and expand their networks. Wilson explained that the Pacific narrative is unique and needs to be amplified with key evidence-based data to solidify our messaging and articulate our experience in a way that will be understood and taken seriously as impactful initiatives.
The moderator for the event and Oxfam in the Pacific’s Influencing and Campaigns Lead, Debbie Singh, ended the session by stating that: “Oxfam recognises that the use of powerful and impactful narratives must be owned by communities. Pacific stories, particularly in the climate justice space, are often seen through a vulnerability lens. The PACCCIL impact stories publication changes this view through powerful story-telling which captures the lived experiences of Pacific people, and importantly, highlights the resilience of Pacific communities who are on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”
The Impact Stories Booklet is now available on Oxfam in the Pacific’s website at this link: https://www.pasifikarising.org/stories-of-impact-cso-collaboration-for-a-climate-just-transformation/
The Pacific Climate Change Collaboration, Influencing and Learning (PACCCIL) project is a 4 year initiative (2018 – 2022), with a one year extension to June 2023, aimed at building action on climate change and disaster resilience in the Pacific and beyond in a more effective, inclusive and collaborative manner. The project is delivered by Oxfam in the Pacific, with support from the Australian Government. PACCCIL is regionally located across the Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian Islands. The primary countries of focus are the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu with regional interventions benefitting Micronesia and Polynesia.
Jeshua Hope, Communications Support Officer, [email protected]