By sharing and connecting, Clusters have impacted their communities in many different ways. Now, we've assembled an experienced team to help us find simple methods for measuring and understanding this complex change. LIU LIU is from the international development charity Tearfund, and he’s giving his time and skills to help guide this work. Jake from our network asked him to tell us more... Jake: What do you do at Tearfund? Liu Liu: I’m a Programme Effectiveness Advisor – I help to ensure the quality of community development projects in ten countries across Sub-Saharan Africa. More recently, I’m also managing a project focusing on environmental and economic sustainability in all of the fifty countries in which Tearfund works. J: How did you find out about Arukah Network? L: Your Co-leader Ted and I are both on the editorial committee of a Tearfund magazine called Footsteps. It’s aimed at communities around the world, and covers subjects like health, livelihood and climate change. When Ted told me about Arukah Network, I immediately understood what you’re hoping to achieve, because my grandparents were doctors who worked with a similar system, and from my Tearfund experience I know yours is a low-cost, high impact model if it works well. J: It's very generous of you to give your time to us - what's motivated you to do so? L: At the spiritual level, I felt it was a “God moment” when Ted told me what Arukah Network is doing. I felt a strong connection and draw to be a part of this family. At the practical level, I knew I had something to contribute, to complement the skills and experience of the team. It’s a place I can serve using the skills and experience I’ve gained over the years.
J: Tell us about the ‘Impact Assessment’ work you’re doing with us then. L: Impact assessment is not just jargon we borrowed from somewhere. Most of Arukah Network’s supporters understand why we do what we do, but this gives us the responsibility to demonstrate to them how – and how well – we do our work and the impact of our effort. When people see impact, they tend to be more encouraged to give more support. And so since last year, I’ve helped to put together a framework for measuring the progress of the six elements of Arukah Network: Connect, Inform, Influence, Health, Wellbeing and Happiness. I presented this to Cluster members at the recent forum: they really liked it, especially the five-phase pathway of measuring progress. And now I’ve been joined by a team of business consultants from PwC to turn this framework into practical tools for the Custers to use. So, watch this space! J: What does 'wellbeing' mean to you? L: Wellbeing is a status as well as a process. A status includes both physical, mental and spiritual health; a process as a journey a person is on to constantly and intentionally work on good physical, mental and spiritual health, with oneself and with others. It is also a bridge between health and happiness. Good health doesn't always bring happiness. Rather, it provides a foundation for wellbeing and happiness. J: What do you think the Cluster model can help to bring about? L: A Cluster can help people understand what health, wellbeing and happiness means in their local context and culture, and provide a way for people in a community to work together on their journey from health and wellbeing to happiness. Through networks of Clusters, people’s eyes can be opened to different ways of achieving health, wellbeing and happiness from different cultures and countries. J: How do you relax? L: I like ironing while watching TV programmes! I find it very relaxing - it helps me to switch off and learn new things at the same time. Swimming is also relaxing for me, I try to do that when I can. I am a good swimmer - half an hour to one hour non-stop is my norm.
Learn more about what Clusters can achieve on our impact page here.