Final-term Evaluation Report of Sinana Female Genital Mutilation Elimination Project (SFGMEP 2010-2012)
Background: The Sinana Female Genital Mutilation Elimination Project (SFGMEP) has been in operation since 2004 and implemented by Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Services Commission (EECMY-DASSC). The project is financed by Norwegian Lutheran Mission. The project is currently in bridging period between 2nd and 3rd phase until the end of 2013. The evaluation covered a period of January 2010 to December 2012. The project target area covers four PAs of Sinana District of Bale Zone (Shalo, Selka, Hasabarera and Basaso). Based on the success stories, needs and demand from local communities and authorities, the terminal evaluation team recommended that the project should continue in the neighboring PAs in order to bring lasting impact widely. The project has applied for 3rd phase to start operation in 4 new PAs from 2014 -2017, and the application is under process.Purpose/objective:The Final evaluation is mainly intended to assess the performance against the agreed plan and other procedural and technical issues of the project and provide the outcome of the evaluation to the relevant stakeholders -government and the implementing agency EECMY-DASSC and NLM for better performance and enhance learning. Generally, the objectives are summarized as follows: To see progress towards realization of project goal and objective; To assess the project specific achievement against plan, To assess utilization of the project resources in the course of the project implementation, To assess the benefit laid down by the project and the extent of this benefit extension to the target beneficiaries, To examine the direct and indirect impact of the project pertaining to the natural environment and the community needs. To determine the effectiveness of the project and draw important lessons to be used when designing a similar project for implementation. To draw lessons and promote learning for the future and help other development practitioners in the same area through dissemination of the evaluation report.Methodology:During the assessment to collect relevant and necessary data and information the evaluation team has used the following methods: Discussion with the project management and staffs at the project office in Robe Town Reviewed the project document as well as periodical reports of the project, Discussion with the project beneficiaries-, community members, Kebele administrators, religious leaders, community organization leaders, students, anti-FGM club members, teachers, circumcisers and teachers. Key informant interview, focus group discussion and meetings were made to discuss with these groups of people and Discussion was made with the concerned zone and district line department representatives.Key findings:EECMY/DASSC and Norwegian Lutheran Mission have used innovative project approach in implementing activities of SFGMEP to stop Harmful Traditional Practices in the targeted KAs. Especially involving Muslim and Christian religious leaders in project implementation helped a lot in behavior change of the community in stopping FGM. Moreover establishment and strengthening of anti-Female Genital Mutilations Committee and clubs in the target kebeles and school respectively made the implementer in realizing the planned objectives and activities. The overall intervention was found promising to eliminate harmful traditional practices and to follow up practitioners not to circumcise daughters.In general, the project has achieved significant changes among the target groups as a result of staff commitment, good net-working and cooperative relationship between the project and its stake holders. Recommendations: The effort made by the project with regard to eliminating harmful traditional practices, especially FGM was very encouraging. But members of the Kebele Administrations are very worried because the neighborhood community’s (non-target community) behavior was not changed. Because there is strong linkage among them, they marry their girls to them and also and their boys get married to their girls. The team strongly recommends the need of intervention to 16 non-target kebeles of Sinana District to make the district a role model for Bale zone districts to eliminate FGM. The team observed that there is a big behavioral change that makes the community to stand against FGM. Experience of religious leaders should be scaled up; the experience of teaching against FGM using holy Koran and Bible should be replicated without waiting for the project both within and out of the target KAs. The project should have the basic understanding of Regional NGO’s guideline. For instance, the quarterly report was not in line with Regional NGO’s guideline. During field visit the team observed that the challenged of the project staff were lack of transportation facility (car) to transport local government experts and project staff to KAs for the training and supervision and delay of fund transfer which influenced timely accomplishment of the project activities will be improved (solved) for sustainable service. Generally during our observation there is a big behavioral change that makes the community to increase the awareness in FGM. Especially activities done by community representative like religious leaders, Anti-FGM Clubs and Anti HTP committees in the PAs awareness in order to provide knowledge about harmful traditional practices are the best strategies to improve elimination of FGM status of community. Hence, the team recommends these experiences and lessons should be shared for replication to neighbor PAs and Woredas The project does not have project steering committee to regularly meet and discuss on the achievements, problems and challenges facing the project and take corrective action. Thus the project should be the member of and use woreda justice committee established from relevant government line offices. The project has gotten very good experience and this should be documented. The woreda Women and Children Affair has paralegal committee at each KA. The project should try to use this committee. The project should continue to create favorable attitude for sustainability of the observed impacts as there are some un-conducive attitude observed. The project should install monitoring system in place to assess the impacts of the project People from non-target KAs or woredas should be invited to learn from the experiences of the target KAs or the representatives from the target KAs should go to other districts or non-target KAs to share their experience. This can be facilitated by woreda women and child affairs office with minor support from the project. Comments from the organisation, if any: The Sinana Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) project is currently in its bridging period between 2nd and 3rd phase until the end of 2013. The impact in those four selected PAs was very successful and based on the need expressed by community and religious leaders to reach neighbouring PAs in order to ensure lasting impact, NLM through its partner EECMY/ DASSC in collaboration with District Stakeholders is determined to expand the activity to wider areas to combat the Harmful Traditional Practices, FGM in particular. The 3rd phase application 2014-2017 is prepared and sent to Digni for consideration.