Title: Impact of a Mentoring Model Using Randomised Controlled Trial – The Aproximar Case Study
Facilitator and room number: Tiago Cardoso Leitão; 1.308
Documented by: Stephan Pöllmann
Number of participants: 3
Who are you and to which institution do you belong?
Aproximar is a non-profit organisation aiming to enhance organisations’ social and human capital as a strategy to build their capacity to take advantage of challenges and opportunities raised by the external conditions and be sustainable. Aproximar develops, organizes and manages different consultancy and certified training programmes involving areas like mentoring, coaching, fundraising, quality management, social support, volunteering, and social innovation processes. Aproximar has a learning management system connecting training with technology in which self-assessments of performance are a key tool to support skills training. The programmes always combine social science (knowledge), active methods (people) and suitable tools (technology). It counts with 10 members providing voluntary work in fields of employment, evaluation, or education. Services benefit more than 120 practitioners, children, youngsters & more than 30 organisations. Aproximar develops projects related to mentoring models for the inclusion of vulnerable groups (roma, migrants, young people and NEET, women, long-term unemployed and (ex)offenders) since 2009. Aproximar has run three mentoring programmes reaching more than 150 mentors and mentees, targeting the development of personal and social competences and the access and retention of a job place. Nowadays, Aproximar is developing a mentoring programme specifically targeting Roma people and is delivering mentoring training to four different European countries within a mobility project (MDiv – Mentors’ Skills for Diversity).
Can mentoring processes’ results and outcomes in soft and hard skills be measured using a Randomised Control Trial (RCT)?
Sequence of content/methods:
The method was group work in which the participants synthesised challenges, constraints and other topics followed by a case study presentation seeking to answer questions posed by the audience initially.
Main points of discussion:
First, there was the question about previous contact with Randomised Control Trial. The results were mixed, from no contact to contact through lectures and through work in a different context than mentoring. Later, the group discussed the key requirements of RCT implementation and whether it has potential to be used for mentoring projects.
Result/s of Session:
Crucial for the implementation of RCT are:
- the adequate size of the experimental group and the control group (at least 30 participants each),
- the strict separation of the two groups to avoid “contamination”,
- objective and independent evaluators without any contact to the participants.
Also the impact on mentors should be measured as they also grow during the project.
Main statements highlighting the results of the discussion:
- Beware of “contamination” between the experimental and the control group.
- The intervention ought to focus on the promotion of self-confidence, self-efficacy and self-concept.
- RCT works and is cost effective.
To answer the question, whether RCT can work for mentoring projects, one participant remarked the necessity of a strong questionnaire. There was a doubt whether qualitative results could derive from it.
References of literature:
Evaluation of the Mentoring for Excluded Groups and Networks (MEGAN) European Project – Final Report.