Mid-term evaluation of CBCN Integrated program - PIADBU Bas-Uélé
Background CBCN operates in the province of Bas-Uélé in DR Congo. Bas-Uélé is the second largest province in DRC, but inaccessible with weak road infrastructure. CBCN is active in the social development in various ways in the educational sector, in the health sector as well as with other social development issues. CBCN has a strong link with the BUN. The Integrated project 2013 - 2017, PIADBU, has received funding from Norad. With PIADBU, CBCN has merged three former CBCN projects: literacy training, savings groups and civic education. This mid-term evaluation was initiated with the purpose of providing information and guidance for the programming, and to support capacity building within CBCN Purpose/objective The evaluation is a mid-term evaluation with the purpose of providing guidance for the future of the program based on assessment of program achievements and efficiency so far. It is also a learning evaluation, with the aim of contributing to capacity building of CBCN leaders and project staff. The process and results of the evaluation will be used by CBCN when planning for the program. There is also an interest in the evaluation results from BUN and Digni from their different roles as partners and donor. Methodology The evaluation was designed to use mixed data collection methods: Document review: project documents, annual plans, annual reports and organization-specific documents Group discussions with literacy learners and teachers, savings group members and leaders, civic education members and leaders and with group facilitators Key informant group interview with representatives of CBCN, with BUN and with other key stakeholders Direct observation through visits to different program sites Interaction with PIADBU staff The data from these different sources have provided a possibility for triangulation to verify results. Key findings PIADBU is an effective integrated development program that has influenced social development in several places in Bas-Uélé through the three program units: literacy, savings groups and civic education. The program has reached both women and men, young and more mature and contributed to change that is appreciated and valued by both beneficiaries and authorities. The program is no doubt relevant. The program has been implemented using the available financial resources carefully. Much has been achieved on a small budget, but it is also important that the program has sufficient funds to be able to function well. PIADBU and the CBCN project coordination is directed by experienced and dedicated staff. Bas-Uélé is an isolated province surrounded by forest, and the weak infrastructure; roads, water, electricity, schools together with poverty are huge challenges for the young province. People who can leave, leave, which causes the province to lose much needed human resources. But the church remains, and is committed to working together with the community for the development of Bas-Uélé. The PIADBU program with its three units is a long-term commitment that deserves long-term donor support. Recommendations Continue developing the PIADBU program, with an even stronger link between the literacy, savings and civic education so that the content of each unit is based on the needs and priorities of the program participants. Learn from other organisations and churches that are working with similar programs, and if possible include study visits within DRC for the program unit leaders, especially for literacy and civic education. Further strengthen community ownership of the activities linked to all three units by actively involving the community in planning and monitoring. Create, together with community members, a baseline for the situation in the community in the thematic areas PIADBU is targeting. Creating the baseline can help raising awareness, and it will also be a description that can be used for assessing the change the program is contributing to. Literacy. For the literacy program, there are different strategic options that would need some further reflection within CBCN, together with their partners. A general recommendation is to choose a manner of focusing the literacy program, e.g. - Consider creating an extra trainer/support/monitoring level – with a person responsible for a designated area - between the unit leadership and the literacy teachers. This could be at district level, or some other level that is logical for the program. This would be a decentralisation that would give the CBCN unit leadership more time to do quality assurance, and plan and monitor the literacy program strategically. - Consider working strategically with the literacy program in a few areas at a time, and during this time develop local support structures for literacy. - Consider including materials development as part of the literacy classes; producing written texts with the learners that reflect the learners situation and priorities Savings. Continue developing the program in the focused way it has been developed, and encourage groups not to become dependent on CBCN long-term. Civic Education. Do a concept development of civic education, where you capture and put in writing how groups are mobilised and organised, what the groups should and could accomplish, how the groups can evaluate their work etc. Further develop the planning, monitoring and reporting systems and skills of CBCN; - so that planning reflects as much as possible what you know about the reality on the ground, - so that monitoring reflects both quantity and quality, - so that reporting helps you capture the progress of the program based on the approved plans. Develop learning strategies for PIADBU and for CBCN. This could be done by creating a learning agenda for each program, and set aside time to reflect on your experiences and allow insights to influence future planning. Develop a goal hierarchy vocabulary together with BUN, and use this consistently in planning, monitoring and reporting. E.g. what do we mean by ‘global objective’, what do we mean by ‘project outcome’. In project planning and project description; increase focus on what actual change in people’s lives or in people’s behaviour that you wish to contribute to.