Staff Understanding of Environmental Mainstreaming
English: % of staff that understand the key principles and practices of environmental mainstreaming
French: % des membres du personnel qui comprend les principes et pratiques clés de l'intégration des questions environnementales
Portuguese: % de membros do staff que entende os princípios e práticas-chave de integração das questões ambientais
Czech: % zaměstnanců, kteří rozumí klíčovým zásadám a postupům environmentálního mainstreamingu
What is its purpose?
The indicator assesses to what extent the staff (of an organisation or a specific project only) understand the key principles and practices of environmental mainstreaming. It indicates the extent to which they can support the effective implementation of environmental mainstreaming measures. The indicator can also highlight the need for (further) staff training on specific topics relating to environmental mainstreaming. It can be used both in the context of environmental mainstreaming in operations and in project activities.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:
1) Define who can be considered as ‘staff’ for the purpose of this indicator. This should be all those who are expected to mainstream environmental protection. In the case of specific projects, it should also include the staff of partner organisations, relevant volunteers, consultants, and contractors.
2) Define a limited amount of the most important knowledge related to the key principles and practices of environmental mainstreaming that the staff should have. This can reflect the content of any environmental mainstreaming training (and other support) provided to the staff.
3) Prepare a simple test assessing whether the staff have the predefined, most important knowledge. The test can use a combination of the following:
- questions assessing people’s knowledge related to the key principles and practices of environmental mainstreaming
- scenarios where the person is asked to describe how s/he would respond to a given situation (i.e. there are no predefined answers)
- a task to propose environmental mainstreaming measures following the principles that the staff learned
- questions asking people to choose between two or more statements (one being correct, one or more being wrong)
- questions assessing the extent to which people believe common misconceptions related to environmental protection (both in general as well as related to mainstreaming)
Ensure that you include enough open-ended questions, as – compared with questions with single / multiple choice answers – they allow you to better understand people’s knowledge. If you do not specialise in environmental mainstreaming, engage a relevant expert in preparing and evaluating the test.
To avoid having unrealistically high or unnecessarily low requirements, verify the difficulty of the test by pretesting it with several people.
4) Decide how many marks will be allocated to each correct answer. For example, for a correct answer to a simple question, you can give one mark; for correct answers to more complex questions / scenarios, you can give two marks.
5) Decide how many marks a person needs to get to be considered as “understanding the key principles and practices of environmental mainstreaming” (e.g. a score of at least 15 out of 20).
6) Administer the test. If you need to compare a member of staff’s understanding before and after a particular learning event (e.g. a training), you might need to design two comparable tests to administer a pre- and post-test.
7) Count the number of staff who achieved the minimum acceptable score (see point 5).
8) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of staff who achieved the minimum acceptable score by the total number of staff who completed the test. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
Disaggregate the data by the position, gender and age group of participating staff.
1) Keep in mind that using this indicator is not supposed to be a heavy exercise – it is only about someone defining what people really need to know about environmental mainstreaming, preparing practical test / exercise that checks how well they know it, and then using the results.
2) If a person understands a given measure, it does not automatically mean that s/he can use it. Therefore, consider measuring whether people have whatever is required to follow the given measure, such as certain skills. Take advantage of this guidance.
3) Consider making the test anonymous (and ensure that people know it is anonymous). This will reduce the risk of people responding based on what they think the ‘correct’ answer is instead of saying what they honestly think or believe. If you use an anonymous test, you might need to reduce the disaggregation requirements, as collecting the respondents’ positions, genders, and age groups might result in the tests no longer being anonymous. If you need to compare people’s results in a pretest and post-test, use a coding system that allows you to compare two tests without revealing the respondent's identity.
4) It is recommended that you share the test results with the people who took it, as it can serve as a useful learning opportunity. Accompany it with a discussion of the correct answers.
5) It is possible that your organisation has a set of essential environmental mainstreaming measures that are applicable to all its interventions and then additional measures specific to individual projects. If this is the case, consider developing a standard test that includes both:
- the essential measures (that apply to all interventions); plus
- additional questions assessing people’s understanding of measures that are specific to a given context or project
Having such a partially pre-prepared test will make it much easier for people to use this indicator. Engage relevant experts in developing the test to ensure its quality.