Final Evaluation Report of “Reinforcement of Capacity on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Districts of ELCC”
- Utgitt: desember 2016
- Serie: --
- Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
- Utført av: Dr. Abeya Wakwoya, Executive Director of Forestry Development Trust (Team leader) / Mrs. Zo Ramiandra Rakotoarison, Program Leader «Empower FLM, Malagasy Lutheran Church» / Pasteur Moïse Ngayap, Director of the MELM, Mali.
- Bestilt av: --
- Land: Kamerun
- Tema: Kvinner og likestilling
- Antall sider: 24
- Serienummer: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organisasjon: Norwegian Mission Society (NMS)
- Lokal partner: EELC Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cameroon
- Prosjektnummer: QZA-12/0763-142 / Digni nr. 10629
The project “Reinforcement of Capacity on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Districts of the ELCC” is a project implemented by the ELCC in partnership with Norwegian Mission Society (NMS). The first phase of the project was from year 2008 – 2012 under the title of Project for Reinforcement of Capacity of Leaders (PRCL) in ten regions of the ELCC.
The implementation of the project in these regions has resulted in tangible results among the target beneficiaries. The current projects under evaluation, “Reinforcement of Capacity on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Districts of the ELCC” in the ten regions from 2014 – 2016 is developed based on the recommendation of the first phase for a purpose of knowledge transfer and build up on the lessons learned.
Despite that, the ELCC is relatively a big church and well structured, it has been suffering from inadequate leadership skills, hardly addressing gender issues and economic problems that negatively affected the sense of the self-reliance among the leaders.
These problems have highly influenced further growth of the church. Women and youth in the structure are the most affected of such problems within the church. Though most of the problems especially enhancing the leadership skill has been well addressed during the first phase, problems like enhancing women participation in leadership and decision making and local resource mobilization to ensure self-reliance remained challenges and resulted in the current project phase under evaluation.
The specific objectives or outcomes of the project have targeted to improve the role and place of women in the church and the society in terms of rights, family matters, health and economy and encourage all districts to increase their income.
This evaluation is conducted with the aim to assess and learn from the achievements of the project implementation during the last three years. It is expected to provide information on what worked and what did not work and why and whether the underlying theories and assumptions used in the project development were valid. It mainly intends to provide information on the relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness, sustainability and impact of the project.
A participatory evaluation approach, which employed qualitative and quantitative methods, is applied to address the objectives and key questions of the evaluation. Various data collection methods were applied which include reviewing secondary documents, focus group discussions (FDGs), key informant interviews (KIIs) and observations to elicit the required information. It was decided to visit 4 regions and discussed with 7 units at the central office out of the ten regions and 77 project target beneficiaries (22 women and 55 men) have been directly took part in the evaluation.
Key findings and conclusions
The project implementation has resulted in:
- as a consolidation of achievements of the first phase; improvement of leadership skill where knowledge transfer signified within the church structure, roles and responsibilities became more clear and interferences in one’s duty has been highly decreased and conflict reduced within the structure;
- As outcome of the plan to provide sustainable solutions to the situation of women in the church as well as in the surrounding society, sensitization of gender at all levels is intensified and participant women freely speak in public. In most cases the attitude of men towards participation of women in leadership and decision making process is positively changed.
The project influenced the women to recognize their potentials, competence, built their confidence among the society and they are willing to come to the leadership positions. Women representation in the decision making and leadership of the church is increasing with highest at congregational and district levels to low at higher level (in some districts for instance they became leaders (North east region Tchollire district leader is women and at central region the president of the region council is women).
The evaluation team however, recognizes that the church need to continue to address challenges which are still influencing women participation. These include (in some cases the woman to become a leader should get saying of her husband, there is also resistance to change in most areas from the side of some men leaders, women illiteracy is also contributing to less participation of women in leadership, traditions and cultural influences especially in Muslim areas is also major factor influencing women’s participation).
The project addresses the issue within the church structure while church is part of the wider community and this alone cannot bring about substantial change for the whole society. The issue of domestic violence of different kinds (physical (rare), psychological, verbal, economical…) is still threat towards women participation in leadership and decision making process;
- Regarding the third objective, which is work closely with the leaders of the Church to develop local strategies for resource mobilization in the Ecclesiastical Districts, the project closely worked with the section established by the church to work on fund mobilization at the grassroots and contribute to the districts and regions efforts to become self-reliance.
Many awareness raising and sensitization efforts have been made to convince and enable the congregations to collect and contribute to the salary and benefit payments for those who serve at different levels of church. Training on fundraising and income generating activities were conducted by the project at different levels and most of the districts started various income generating schemes. For instance, guesthouses in Yaounde and Bankim, palm oil plantation in Bankim on 1 hectare of land, which can help them to become self-reliance, are some of the efforts to mention.
The congregations and church constituencies built the confidence that they are the one who should develop their church and this in turn contributes to ensuring sense of ownership. According to financial section of the church, the contribution from the congregations during the last three years increased by 85% on average when compared with planned budget of 31,000,000 that the central office budgeted.
However, the income generating activities are not fully internalized and most of the regions are still behind.
- In case of project management, it is planned in a cost-effective way where few staff fully engaged and the other arms of the church at all levels are contributing in facilitation and technical support provision.
The participation of the higher decision making bodies of the church and the attachment of the project to the church facilitated genuine participation of the local stake holders and ensures ownership and significantly contributes to the sustainability of the project results in that the church is always there even if the project funding support terminates.
The financial management of the project also significantly improved whereby the gaps identified during the terminal evaluation of the first phase well taken care of and all necessary financial management documents are produced and used and all the procedures are followed. However, the financial software used by the church is not upgraded where budget shortage is mentioned as a reason for not accomplishment.
Generally, the challenges observed in project management is high workload on the manager, tough road conditions in some regions and high maintenance cost of the old vehicle.
In general, the project intervention has resulted in the improvement of management and leadership skill of the leaders and women’s participation in decision-making and leadership of the ELCC. The attitude of leaders at all levels towards self-reliance is being changing positively, which contributes to the sustainability, and enhances sense of ownership.
The project has achieved most of the planned goals during its implantation period of the first and current phase based on the strategies and approaches it followed. Hence, we recommend that the current implementation approach be phased out and different approach should be designed to address some of the issues which still need intervention based on priority needs. Such intervention areas might include:
5.1 Strengthening fight against poverty especially by focusing on poor women, the elderly, youth, Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC), through enhancing local efforts to ensure self-reliance. This can be achieved by organizing women and youth in different self-help groups, where they can exercise their management and leadership skills in their own organization to step up to the next stage and strengthening IGAs for economic empowerment.
5.2 Continue to address challenges which hinder women representation such as resistance to change from men and some leaders, domestic violence and also working on traditional and cultural barriers through community conversation, counselling, mass education (using various educational tracts, mass media, literature especially in local language), Various capacity building activities through trainings on reduction of Harmful Traditional Practices (HTPs), Sanitation and Hygiene.
5.3 The internalization of the administrative manual at all structural level of the church and its distribution and use should be strengthened and emphasized.
5.4 The evaluation team recommends that the efforts be integrated and harmonized among the services of the church especially within the cross-cutting development issues for effective and efficient use of resources. Facilities to make the implementation and management smooth and successful such as transportation should be taken into consideration. To ensure sustainability of the project, relay agents at implementations regions be assigned with cost recovery arrangement.
5.5 The methodology of implementation should be based on the lessons learned during the previous projects where it should be attached to the church and ensure participation at all levels.
Comments from the organisation
The evaluation report concludes that the project has achieved the desired goal through successful implementation of the planned activities. NMS is pleased to see that the evaluators find that most of the activities have resulted in visible and sustainable impact.
The team also concludes that based on the assessment it conducted, the project is addressing the real need to improve leadership and management within the church. As one of the biggest civil society organizations in Northern Cameroon, EELC holds a unique position for bringing positive influence on society. This is in particular important considering the unstable region in Sahel and around the Tschad lake area.