Changemaking with Flux

Changemaker award winner Sarah Haensly worked with a local evaluation consultancy, applying social science methodologies to maximize the positive impact of nonprofit programs. She studied economics and Latin American studies at Tulane.


In the fall of 2016, Will Faulkner, director of Flux Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, came to talk to our Latin American Studies Capstone class about the work that he does in the field of monitoring and evaluation. Will was one of a variety of former Tulane students who visited our class to speak to us about how they ended up using their Latin American studies degree after graduating Tulane. As an Economics and Latin American studies major, I was interested to hear about how quantitative and qualitative analysis can be applied to social programs.

Flux 101 - Learning about current projects
Flux 101 – Learning about current projects

Flux works with governments, non-profits and private companies all over the world to evaluate their socially-minded programs and make them as efficient as possible. To do so, Flux uses research, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Flux’s work helps organizations see the larger picture by collecting, analyzing and presenting systematic, cross-program information and by designing smoothly functioning systems to ensure that the organizations are actually carrying out their missions of social change. Through M&E, I am learning that it is possible to turn programs in the most effective direction to create the largest possible positive change.

Will, my boss, worked with the Taylor Center this last year.

As a part-time student, the Changemaker Catalyst award from the Taylor Center has allowed me to focus on my internship with Flux in the past semester. I have learned a lot about monitoring and evaluation and hope to continue on in the field after I graduate. One of the primary things that I have managed to gain experience with is data analysis. I have learned about dealing with large quantities of data, data cleaning, pivot tables and data basing. I feel very confident in my data work at this point, and, weirdly enough, I actually enjoy it. I have also done a fair amount of work helping Flux to develop marketing materials, which is something that I had little experience with beforehand. It has been a great experience to witness the work that Flux does, as I now have a much better idea of what monitoring and evaluation entails.

I have had an extremely enjoyable time working with Flux last semester and was excited to continue my work with them through the summer. From Flux I have learned a lot about how nonprofits can use data tools and analysis to create the greatest amount of social impact possible. Moving into the future I hope to continue working with nonprofits and measuring the social impact that organizations and their projects create. My time as a Changemaker will not end here. I will continue to work with people with my planet in mind, so that I can create tangible change. I have only begun to equip myself with the skills and tools for changemaking, and I feel inspired about the endless opportunities I will have in the future.

The Flux Headquarters ft. my primary mode of transportation
The Flux Headquarters ft. my primary mode of transportation

It has been a very enjoyable learning process, and has taught me many useful skills that will be helpful when I am searching for careers in monitoring and evaluation in the future. I also have gotten to peek at what different nonprofits are doing in New Orleans, and how they are contributing to the city. I am so thankful for the opportunity that the Taylor Center has given me with this internship.