Evaluation of the “Foundation Esperanza Project” in Colombia
Background DNM has received support from Norad since 1997 to develop a centre for children between 7 - 12 years old supporting them when they were not at school, stimulating them to fulfil their studies, and enabling their parent(s)/relatives to take care of their children Purpose/objective a. To confirm that the project is executed as described in the plans described in the application/project document 2001 for the period 2002 - 2006.b. Give advice how to run the project in a good way when support from Norad is closed from 2007. Methodology Project visits, observations, interviews, conversations, document reading. Contact with staff, board, children and their relatives. Participative processes was used. Key findings The project is highly appreciated by the children and their relatives. Resources are used in a very good way and the staff does more than can be expected. The project is recognised by local authorities, they are in close collaboration and the project receives support from local authorities. It is desirable to improve the administrational sustainability of the project. Vision, mission, and strategy are elaborated, but a plan for implementation of this is lacking. This is needed. The economical sustainability is weak; the institution will not survive without economical support from the outside even if they receive a little from the authorities. The project is in touch with the relatives of the children, but this can still be improved. Recommendations The target group should be wider; teenagers should be allowed to continue in the project for many years.Team building among staff is recommended in order to make all of them feel they are an important part of the project. Some training should be offered to staff members.The infrastructure needs some improvement. The building is too small to assure a good environment for 75 children in the morning and the same number in the afternoon (this was rearranged some months later).Local fund-raising is needed, and the project needs two years more to elaborate this point. (DNM has promised a support for at least two years since Norad-support is stopped). The project should receive more support from local government etc. The local grass-root organisation is lacking, and they should work more on finding/creating such an organisation.Extend the program to include parents and relatives to give them competence and capacity to take better care of their children. Comments from the organisation Given in 2008:Most of the recommendations are implemented:- the project at present includes also children between 12 and 16 years- staff-teambuilding is improved- the project has 70% more physical space than before- the local income is still a challenge, but MCCN/DNM maintain a yearly support a bit lower than the last year of the support from Norad- a local church is started close to the Esperanza-project, and from the beginning there are close ties between the project and the church.- from 2009 the project "Women and children's rights in Colombia" will have a centre and a reception within the Esperanza centre to try to meet some of the needs of the parents/single mothers and other relatives.