Midterm Evaluation Report; Master Plan (MP) Program - Project of Strømme Foundation, Sri Lanka
About the publication
- Published: January 2012
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Paltra (Guarantee) Limited
- Commissioned by: Strømme Foundation
- Country: Sri Lanka
- Theme: Civil society
- Pages: --
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Strømme Foundation
- Local partner: HPDF, RPK, Surekuma, WDF, CfHD, PALM, and PPDRO
1. Project Description and Background to Evaluation:
The Master Plan (MP) Programme in Sri Lanka addresses poverty that is influenced by systemic factors and aggravated by the thirty year war and the tsunami of 2004 and other periodic disasters. Strømme Foundation (SF) proposes to facilitate the poorest to move out of poverty through the adoption of a three pronged strategy viz.
1. Community empowerment for democratization
2. Provision of holistic, pro-poor financial and non-financial services
3. Strengthening basic education, formal and non-formal.
The project is implemented through seven experienced partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that facilitate the formation of a civil society mechanism to support the poor to break free of poverty.
The overall purpose of this evaluation was mainly learning and improvement. SF ARO anticipated that the outcomes of this mid-term evaluation will provide relevant information to the ongoing scope of work of the partners; explore why the interventions implemented by the programme succeeded or not; and provide guidance for subsequent implementation of the programme during the next two years. The evaluation also assessed whether or not the project plans were fulfilled and resources were used in a responsible way.
The methodology comprised of Document Research (examination of project documents), Field Research (interaction with a sample of 15 community-based organizations (CBOs), i.e. two of each partner NGO - one categorized as successful and the other less successful), through focus group meetings and observation and the Database Scrutiny. The CBO members, leaders, those who initiated income generation activities (IGAs) and children and youth – i.e. four groups were engaged in the evaluation. The baseline established by SF in 2009 was used to some extent.
4. Key findings:
Objective1: By the end of 2013, strong civil society mechanisms are functioning to address and advocate for poverty, gender, peace and environmental issues.
Significant achievements by all partner NGOs are seen as measured by the following 5 indicators of this objective viz. percentage of women members and women office bearers in CBOs; Households (HHs) that tend home gardens; youth members in CBOs and CBOs that have addressed several development issues of the community. Small Groups (SGs) and CBOs along with access to micro credit and non-financial services have contributed to significant change at community level. All CBOs are in process to becoming strong civil society organizations (CSOs) for supporting the poor. However, leadership and negotiating skills need to be built further. Except PPDRO, other partners established divisional or district level networks of CBOs.
Objective 2: By end of 2013, 21,800 poor households in SF target areas have improved access to financial and non-financial services.
Achievements as measured by the following 5 indicators are very significant in the case of 6 six partners: the percentage of households (HHs) that have accessed credit for income generating activities (IGAs); HHs that access non-financial business development (BD) services; HHs that engage in labor sharing; HHs with 10% increased savings since MP and HHs with 25% increased incomes since MP. This is a major shift in favor of the poor.
Objective 3: By end of 2013, 10,000 children and youth practice life skills and involve in saving and thrift, and peace and harmony.
Four partners (SOCRD, WDF, Palm and PPDRO) report significant change as measured by the following indicators: 1) Percentage of School Development Societies (SDS) where parents actively participate and 2) schools where important changes have taken place due to SDS/CBOs. Regarding school drop-outs, 5 partners (SOCRD, Palm, CfHD, PPDRO and WDF) have performed well and the issue has been well managed. With regard to the percentage of children who received awareness about Sri Lankan diversity, 2 partners CfHD and Palm have done very well by having awareness programs which covered 80% and 100% of member children (in their Children’s Clubs that were subjected to this evaluation). Vocational training for youth has been carried out satisfactorily by 2 partners PPDRO and CfHD. Achievements under this objective should be improved.
A few key recommendations are listed below.
1. It will be more useful if all partners adhere to one set of terminology i.e. LFA in which the terms are defined, to avoid confusion / misunderstanding and facilitate comparison,
2. Family development plans of CfHD, RPK, Palm are very comprehensive and these should be adopted by all,
3. Partner NGOs should set up a system where accurate data and information is gathered and analyzed. SF could assist in this through a common monitoring system,
4. CBOs should be encouraged to maintain a record of its membership, decisions, work carried out, networking etc. for monitoring and evaluation purposes as most CBOs do not have that information readily available,
5. Project contributions regarding gender and ethnicity should be raised to a higher level,
6. Irregular attendance at school appears to be more critical in most project areas than the issue of school drop-outs. irregular attendance is also related to quality of education,
7. Disaster management and non-violent conflict resolution should be considered for inclusion in the partner training program, and
8. BD services for assuring stability of income sources and higher incomes are vital.
6. Comments from the organisation, if any: (this section to be filled by the staff responsible in SF’s Regional Office)