Measuring the Empowerment of Indigenous Communities in Southern Mexico: The Development of a Monitoring & Impact Evaluation Plan for Yo’onik Learning Center

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala


This paper is a case study of the creation of a monitoring and impact evaluation (M&IE) plan for Yo’onik Learning Center, a remedial education project located in Chiapas, Mexico. Yo’onik focuses on providing educational opportunities, individual tutoring, and scholarships to indigenous youth in Zinacantan, a rural Tzotzil village outside of San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

Yo’onik Learning Center is a partner program of Natik, a virtual non-governmental organization that focuses on education and women’s empowerment. The project began in 2010 by two indigenous sisters, and made an official partner of Natik in 2013. With the development of this partnership, a monitoring and impact evaluation plan was necessary to track the project progress and report to donors.

This paper examines Natik as an organization, including all five of its partner projects. Additionally, the M&IE plan for Yo’onik is outlined in detail, and the process for creating the process is discussed in length. Furthermore, it gives an overall understanding to the process and challenges faced when developing an M&IE plan, a personal account of the authors role in developing the M&IE plan, and it also serves as a case study focusing on an educational development project.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | Latin American Studies

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