Measure of Success
Every Success Inspires Another
In 2005, researchers from the Evaluation Center of Western Michigan University, one of the nation's leading evaluation institutions, began studying Heifer's impact on communities around the world. Over a five-year period, Dr. Michael Scriven and his team visited more than 139 Heifer projects in 20 countries, interviewed more than 5,000 Heifer program participants and observed our effect on community spirit, gender equity, income, health, environmental care and other factors.
In virtually every evaluation, the evaluators noted improvements in nutrition, agriculture, income, access to health care and livestock management. Mentioned in nearly every report was our signature Passing on the Gift program.
There are many cases we've encountered around the globe at Heifer projects where, in the first round of Passing on the Gift, far more animals were donated than had been donated to them, the people who were now the givers... This move toward philanthropy on the part of the recipients is a sign of the values transformation that is rewarding in itself. Dr. Michael Scriven, Lead External Evaluator, University of Western Michigan
We have used these evaluations to develop the toolkit we use to help people build better, sustainable futures for themselves. Using our 12 Cornerstones as guidelines, we are successfully working to eradicate hunger and poverty in the world.
- In Thailand, evaluators found Heifer's work helped villagers access greater amounts and varieties of food, increase their knowledge and skills, and earn income to send their children to school.
- In Tanzania, evaluators found, within a couple years after receiving an animal and training, previously malnourished people were able to maintain a healthy diet. Many started to accumulate livestock and other assets, and soon could better afford medical expenses and keep their children in school longer and more consistently (particularly girls).
- In Armenia, evaluators said Heifer Armenia's effectiveness, impact and 100 percent Passing on the Gift rate were "nothing less than impressive."
- In the Philippines, evaluators noted the improvement in the quality of life for participants. Many respondents spoke of "giving up vices" thanks to Heifer's influence.
- In Indonesia, evaluators found Heifer’s gender equality training made the difference in cultural values.
- In Vietnam, improvements were noted in relationships with government, better livestock care, more and better food and cleaner households and communities.
- In Asia, evaluators said, "It was evident that Heifer China has the strongest system we have seen so far, not only to provide livestock care training and management support, but also to effectively influence other agencies to adopt Heifer values and work strategies."
- In Cameroon, evaluators said Heifer's work is substantially assisting group members combat poverty and increase their standard of living. Improvements were also noted in gender equity as women reported their husbands took larger shares of the household work such as cutting grass for animals, cleaning and cooking.
- In Honduras, evaluators found families and communities empowered with stronger community spirit and more equalized participation between genders.
- In Guatemala evaluators collected consistent reports on improvement in nutrition and income, greater capacity of participants to care for and manage livestock, improvements in gender equity and empowerment of some members to join community leadership groups.
- In Peru, evaluators reported that benefit continues even after official support from Heifer International ended. For example, in Sicuani, 400 families received animals thanks to Passing on the Gift; now 1,500 people have benefitted from the program since it started.
In Rajasthan, India Heifer International is providing resources and training that empower women to lift their families out of poverty.
The homes of families who participate in Heifer programs have healthier environments. They see a greater chance of self-employment, more sources of food and an increased sense of hope about the future.
The work is valuable. The benefits are real. The results are life-changing. Heifer is the catalyst for these changes. Start a positive cycle of giving by supporting a Heifer project.