Evaluation of NCA Community Violence & Small Arms (CV&SA) and Women in Governance Programs
About the publication
- Published: April 2015
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Dr Agnes Abuom, Fred Nyabera, Ayen Ayen Aleu Yel
- Commissioned by: Norwegian Church Aid
- Country: South Sudan
- Theme: Women and gender equality
- Pages: 36
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
The evaluation covers a period of three years 2012-2015 linked to NCA-NORAD agreement.
It was a Peace & Gender sector-wide evaluation with a focus on both accountability (performance) and learning. The purpose was also linked to developing of the new strategy.
(i) To evaluation/evaluate the performance of the NCA programme in meeting the objectives and targets in the project logframes
(ii) To provide NCA with a clear perspective on the lessons learned and the best practice recommendations for the design of future interventions and strengthening civil society in South Sudan.
(iii) To identify any additional capacity needs with regard to the implementation of effective responses
(iv) To evaluation/evaluate the connectivity between the activities and NCA’s country and global strategies with a particular focus on recommendations regarding the development of linkages between thematic resources and tools within NCA and their application at field level
(v) To provide NCA with a clear understanding of institutional and programme implications of contextual changes due to conflict and other factors
Use of DAC evaluation criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.
2 external evaluators with participation of NCA programme team.
The Program activities implemented under the CV& SA thematic area were found to be relevant to the context of a fragile state facing chronic instability, fractured leadership and growing ethnic conflict and other insecurity concerns. The indicators were all found to be relevant though not all of them were adequately fulfilled.
Prominent in the evaluation was how the Programs were responsive to emerging issues in a timely and flexible manner. Given the fragile political environment the peace Program initiatives were specific in response to national priorities as reflected by the support given to SSCC – Faith Based delegation to Addis-IGAD peace process, Jonglei State peace process, Yau Yau/GoSS mediation and Peace Dividend in Greater Pibor Project among others. NCA is given credit for their responsiveness to emergent issues not previously identified in the Country Program Plan.
The Program has succeeded to a greater extent in empowering NCAs partners, to become credible peace building actors at the grass roots, state and national levels.
The Program focused on building capacity of partners and facilitation of community peace processes. In Eastern Equatoria, the enhanced peacebuilding initiatives by the partners like in the cases for Monyomiji Support Group (NCA, IKV Pax Christi, Caritas Torit and AIC) and increasing participation of the relevant State departments have created wider space for community level peace and reconciliation dialogues, e.g. Toposa – Didinga local peace dialogue, CNHPR- grassroots peace processes and Madi and Acholi conflict mediation.
At the national level, attention has been in supporting Peace Dividend Programs in Gumruk- implemented by ECS in Gumruk in Jonglei and Community peace in Pibor, support the work of Bishop Paride in the peace mediation between the Yao Yao and the GoSS and supported the participation of the SSCC - Faith Based Organizations delegation in their participation at the IGAD-led peace mediation process in Addis Ababa. It was noted that the Addis engagement by the faith leaders could have been more effective had there been an efficient communication channel between the delegation and the churches in South Sudan and a mediation expert support to the team
In this light, the churches in South Sudan are regrouping to organize their own reconciliation conversations and independent grassroots efforts.
In addition, NCA supported the Committee for National Healing Peace and Reconciliation (CNHPR). Though the Committee made some steps towards the realization of its objectives as described under output two, it has not been able to reach its potential due to credibility challenges that have hampered its work and slowed down its momentum. This has been mainly due to controversy that surrounded its identity (perceived as the government’s project) and the suitability of its chairperson. Secondly, the political crises and civil war in the country has resulted in a shift of its priorities and limitations in its operations. It has also faced financial constraints and a high turnover of staff. It is envisaged that with the new arrangement of anchoring the Committee into the structures of the SSCC some of the challenges will be addressed.
Over the past three years, NCA continued to support its partners’ radio stations as a tool for peacebuilding. This was noted as a potential effective tool in increasing public’s access to positive information and peace messages. However, it was noted that the messages disseminated through the stations are not always structured or targeted and in most cases heavy on normal preaching and evangelistic messages. It was thus stated that the capacity of the radio stations need to be enhanced to be more conflict sensitive.
The review team noted that the attention given to youth in peacebuilding was limited. Yet they are the major stakeholders in conflicts in South Sudan, and who can be a source of violence or a resource for peace. Apart from Monymiji Support Group and the training at the Vocational Training Centre, there was no clear indication of a deliberate outreach to the youth.
NCAs approach of working through partners, volunteers, established structures and strengthening the local structures of peace such as the inter-church committees helped reduce the Programs operational costs. In addition, the ability of the church leaders to operate at both track 2 and track 1 levels of peacebuilding, provided an efficient inter - phase between the implementing partners and the governance structures
Some critical constraints were noted:
- Due to a weak Council of Churches, information and communication between the Faith Leaders in Addis peace negotiations and the churches on the ground was not transmitted in a timely and most efficient manner.
- There was a gap in the systematic approach to Program planning, monitoring reporting and adequate accountability by some of the NCA partners. This led to the delay in disbursement of funds and subsequently the timely implementation of the activities. NCA will need to come up with negotiated regular standards to mitigate this.
- In terms of project management, Lack of a comprehensive baseline study resulted in a Program with diverse outcomes that could not be properly measured. Effort should be made to develop M&E tools.
- Concerns were raised regarding the possibility of some partners not having made full disclosure of other sources of funding and hence may be receiving funding from more than one donor on the same activities. NCA will need to work collaboratively with other Ecumenical partners addressing this duplication as well as tighten its partner assessment mechanisms with disclosure of other funding provided.
The approach of working with partners ensured that the requisite capacities in peacebuilding were developed and remained with the target communities and that the local institutions were created or strengthened for continued peace – building activities beyond the Program phase. Worth mentioning is the ICC in Torit that is not only engaged in the local mediation initiatives but has independently initiated community early warning early response conflict prevention initiatives. The evaluation further noted that the NCA’s primary partners – the Church has an inbuilt potential to sustain the processes that NCA support. Their local presence, accessibility, moral authority, incredible resources, infrastructure, mobilization potential provides them with a comparative advantage which cannot be ignored in any serious peace building and development efforts.
It was notable that some basic capacities for peace had been imparted through the NCA Program considering the ongoing active roles played by the local NCA partners: Worth mentioning are the Mahdi – Acholi conflict management by the 4 NCA’s local actors in the EES namely; the Inter-Church Committee (ICC), Catholic Diocese of Torit (CDoT) Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS DOT) and the African Inland Church (AIC); the de-escalation of intra communal conflicts in Mura – Lopit as a result of the intervention by Boma Councillors and the interventions through People to People in the conflicts between Aguok and Kuac in GW and Agriculturalists and pastoralists of WBG and WS.
The Boma councils fulfil an important peace building role. Through this initiative, the neighbouring Bomas relations have improved (e.g. a negotiated peaceful coexistence between the Pari and the Lopit ethnic groups after 25 years of conflict).
The trainings have enabled local communities to contribute to planning of their own development activities (action plans) and demand their rights from the government for the constant delivery of the social services. The process has gained ground with the high demand by both county and state authorities to expand the training to other counties outside the target areas.
At the national level, NCAs support to the work of Bishop Paride led peace mediation between Yao Yao and the GoSS ended successfully with the signing of the peace agreement, bringing to an end a 4-year conflict in Jonglei state. However, the urgency of implementing the agreement and providing the people of Greater Pibor with peace dividends to help build trust and stability among the affected communities can never be over emphasized. Hence NCA should continue advocating for and supporting the full implementation of the agreement which will lay the foundation of a durable peace for all the people and communities of Pibor and surrounding counties. It was also noted that the Faith Based delegation to the IGAD led peace mediation process in Addis Ababa provided chaplaincy services to the stakeholders and provided a neutral and safe space for the belligerents to interact in prayer. In addition, NCA supported the establishment of the national secretariat Committee for National Healing Peace and Reconciliation (CNHPR).
(i) Enhanced capacities
- Maintain the churches as core partners
- Develop capacities through accompaniement
- Focus on processes of developing a strong South Sudan Council of Churches as a joint platform securing "unity of purpose" of the church network
- Buffer between rapid changes in priorities and language of back donors and ned for consistency of approach.
- Further develop synergies between peace program and other sector programs (WASH, Health)
- NCA should model Humanitarian Accountability Partnerships (HAP) to the partners
- Strengthen collaboration with other members of ACT Alliance
- Maintain balance between internal reflection and implementation of programs
(ii) Peace and Security program
- Encouraged to continue in present geographical areas of ficus but manitanin flexibility to incorporate neighbouring geographies
- Carry out conflict analysis followed by strengthening of monitoring and evaluation framework with identifiable indicators based on baselines
- Develop a strategy of keeping duty bearers in governance acciountable
- Harvest learning experiences from suypproted processes such as the faith based accompaniment of the IGAD process
- Strengthen communication platforms such as radio
- Strengthen intentional outreach to youth and synergies with support to vocational training
- Enhance roles of women in conflict resolution in line with NCA's gender equality principles and GOSS affirmative action as provided by the interim constitution
(iii) Women in Governance
- Strengthen institutional capacity of SSCC gender desk; integrate into other SSCC programs
- Maintain VICOBA as a viable entry point for mobilization of women into both peace and governance processes
- Invest in institutional capacity of major stakeholders to strengthen gender inclusivity
- Create safe spaces for men in self understanding of gender roles..e.g use of contextual Bible studies etc.