Untitled

News Release

December 11, 2014


For more information:
Andrew Lovley, aplovley@clintonschool.uasys.edu

Clinton School Student Designs Comprehensive Evaluation System for Educational Nonprofit in Panama

BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA – Andrew Lovley of Wrentham, Mass. completed a three-month partnership with Give & Surf Inc., a nonprofit based in rural Panama that provides community development and educational access to an underserved indigenous population. Lovley’s Capstone project for the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service culminated with the integration of an in-depth evaluation system into regular organizational practice.

To gather recommendations of employees, local leaders, and program participants, Lovley designed and distributed surveys to community members and former staff. This critical input informed the resulting evaluation plan, which assesses program impact while ultimately generating financial and in-kind support by outlining community need and documented program results. Systems were introduced to systematically monitor daily attendance, subject retention, Pre-K development, library book borrowing, community engagement, as well as student, staff, and volunteer satisfaction. In addition, a longitudinal impact study will be conducted to track progress of participating students.

“Andrew’s aptitude in development and organization was immensely beneficial in assessing the organization’s present structure and paving a way for its future. His project encompassed a full-scale assessment of the organization and its operations followed by a detailed implementation plan complete with measurements and goals,” said Neil Christiansen, President and Founder of Give & Surf. “As a small grass-roots run organization we are incredibly grateful to have received such amazing support that will undoubtedly lead to positive changes for the organization and those individuals we serve in Bocas del Toro, Panama.”

The services provided by Give & Surf are a result of glaring inadequacies in the indigenous Ngobe communities of Bocas del Toro. Local residents suffer from minimal access to early childhood education, healthcare, quality nutrition, and sanitation services, keeping the majority of the population in extreme poverty. The opportunity to participate in relevant, impactful educational programs, from preschool to adult classes, offers a way to empower an indigenous population that has long been marginalized and treated as second-class citizens.

In another component of the project, Lovley assisted Give & Surf’s strategic plan to diversify its revenue stream by identifying appropriate foundational partners and submitting grant proposals that would support newly created summer school and marine education programs.

The Capstone project is the third of three major field projects in the Clinton School curriculum. Lovley will graduate May 2015 after defending his capstone project to Clinton School faculty.

About Give & Surf

In response to requests by the local indigenous population for greater educational access, this small, grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was established in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Since its inception in 2011, Give & Surf has continued to expand its services to better meet community needs and now offers an array of programs and services, including pre-school, kindergarten, elementary school, and adult English classes, in addition to locally driven development projects.

More information about Give & Surf is available at http://giveandsurf.org/.

About the Clinton School of Public Service

The first school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service gives students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service. The school embodies President Clinton’s vision of building leadership in civic engagement and enhancing people’s capacity to work across disciplinary, racial, ethnic and geographical boundaries.

More information about the Clinton School is available at http://clintonschool.uasys.edu/.