Final Evaluation Report of the Project "Support for Education in Post Conflict South-eastern Myanmar" (SEE NORAD)
Background: ADRA Norway’s project “Support for Education in Post Conflict South-eastern Myanmar (SEE NORAD)” was implemented by ADRA Myanmar, who in turn partnered with Adventist Community Services (ACS), and Karen Teachers Working Group (KTWG). The projects duration was one year from January to December 2013, and was implemented in selected townships in Karen and Mon States. These areas have been greatly affected by the military conflict with the government, and the fragile education system is almost entirely managed by local communities and churches. This project was a part of ADRA Norway’s broader “Education for Women and Children” programme. Purpose/objective: The South-eastern Education (SEE) project aimed to support the provision of quality basic education in South-eastern Myanmar by supporting the continuity of basic education in the local community. This was delivered both within Myanmar through Adventist Community Service (ACS) in Karen and Mon ethnic communities and from across the border by the KTWG in other non-government controlled areas of Karen State. At the same time, ADRA Myanmar initiated education support in the strategic area of Hlaingbwe Township of Karen State, a mostly government-controlled area. The project had two key component objectives:Component Objective 1: “Children in South-eastern Myanmar enjoy quality basic education.”Component Objective 2: “Ethnic education actors and other stakeholders cooperate together in an inclusive way in the scope of the ongoing education reform process.”Methodology:The evaluation was conducted with four overlapping stages: a) document review, b) data gathering, c) data analysis and d) report writing. The research design and its application represent a mixed method approach, seeking to capture qualitative and quantitative data. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted, and young students were engaged in visual research (drawings). Key findings: The findings of the project evaluation reveal solid evidence that strengths of the SEE-NORAD project were directly linked to staff relationships with key stakeholders and partners and the credibility of ADRAs networks, structures and systems. The two project components of rebuilding and refurbishing schools and facilitatating a dialogue platform between education stakeholders were successful, and contributed to an increased trust level. This may help pave the way for the next project phase, and the future project team can utilize and build on the relationships. Other key findings are as follows:• 16 schools renovated, 2 school built• 13% increase in enrolments in Karen State• 2404 teachers received in-service training• 49 teachers received training during the 2013 summer break• 110 teachers provided with teachers kits• 3225 students provided with pupil kits• 6 workshops/meetings held between ethnic education stakeholders and government authoritiesRecommendations:• ADRA should invite government and Karen National Union (KNU) officers to participate in capacity building sessions and project team meetings to create regular opportunities to update GoM and KNU with project relevant information.• The evaluators are well aware of ADRA’s challenge and necessity to keep up its independent organizational profile. Therefore, the evaluation team suggests to clearly and transparently outlining ADRA’s project strategy for the selection of intervention areas.• Best-practice community development approaches are not yet well internalized among project staff. Therefore, it is suggested to tailor a suitable capacity-building program with learning units about “Community Development Principles and Practices.”• Include sanitary facilities and safe access to water in all future school constructions/renovations in order to contribute to a safe, healthy and child-friendly school environment. This one seems very important and should probably be moved up to be the second bullet point. Comments from the organisation, if any: Considering that SEE NORAD was a 10-month pilot project, it is difficult to show results above outputs. However, valuable lessons regarding the implementation of education projects in the project area, and about the capacity of various partners will serve to strengthen the 5-year follow-up program.