Christian Children’s Fund, Inc. (CCF), established in 1938, is an international, nonsectarian, non-profit organization dedicated to assisting children. With program offices around the world, it pro-vides health and educational assistance to more than 4.6 million children and families through over 1,000 projects in 30 countries, including the United States. CCF’s programs promote long- term development designed to help break the cycle of poverty by improved access to health care, safe water, immunizations, better nutrition, educational assistance, literacy courses, skills training, and other services specific to improving children’s welfare.
Most of CCF’s revenues come from individual donors who are linked with a specific child. About 75 percent of the sponsors are in the United States, and in 2003, CCF had total revenues of about $ 143 million.
In 1995 CCF began developing an evaluation system, nicknamed AIMES (Annual Impact Monitoring and Evaluation System), to assess the performance of its programs and whether they are making a positive, measurable difference in children’s lives. A working group of national directors, program managers, CCF finance and audit managers, and outside consultants developed a series of metrics that allowed CCF to be more accountable to its sponsors as well as an evaluation tool to continually assess the impact of its programs on children. The working group wanted metrics that (1) captured critical success factors for CCF’s projects; (2) focused on a program’s impact, not its activities; (3) measured the program’s impact on children; and (4) could be measured and tracked. The following indicators were chosen:
Under 5- year old mortality rate
Under 5- year old moderate and severe malnutrition rate
Adult literacy
One- to- two- year- old immunizations
Tetanus vaccine- protected live births
Families that correctly know how to manage a case of diarrhea
Families that correctly know how to manage acute respiratory infection
Families that have access to safe water
Families that practice safe sanitation
Children enrolled in a formal or informal educational program
Each family in a community with a CCF program is given a family card that tracks each of the preceding 10 indicators for that family. In 1997, the first year of implementation, AIMES captured the health status of about 1.9 million children in approximately 850 projects in 18 countries. Annual visits by project staff or volunteers update each family’s card. The family cards are aggregated at the community level, national level, and then in total for CCF, and provide a reporting system. CCF managers then track trends and compare performance at the community, national, and organizational levels.
It took CCF two years to develop these metrics, test them, and train the staff in all the national offices in how to use the system. AIMES does not prescribe the strategy each community should adopt but rather allows each community to design programs that promote the well-being of children in that community. Program directors can use the AIMES data as a tool to monitor and manage their programs. If child mortality is high, local program directors decide how best to reduce the rate. The 10 AIMES metrics have made project managers more focused and better able to concentrate re-sources in those areas that make a measurable difference in children’s health. CCF uses the information to make program and resource allocation decisions at the community level. The family card has promoted better nutrition via appropriate feeding and child care practices because there is now more direct contact between CCF staff and volunteers and families.

Using this chapter’s organizational architecture framework, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of CCF’s AIMES project.
Source: D Henderson, B Chase, and B Woodson, “Performance Measures for NPOs,” Journal of Accountancy (January 2002), pp. 63– 68, and www. Christian childrens

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