Evaluation of concept experimentation: Active Literacy / Active Literacy program
1. Project Description and Background to Evaluation: In 2008, SFWA in partnership with two local NGO started implementing a pilot project on Active Literacy. To meet that purpose, different literacy tools were elaborated and used, training workshops and follow up missions were organised too. Through this evaluation, SFWA aimed at assessing the materials produced on the one hand and on the other hand, the conformity of the training needs and expectations of the population with the teaching method suggested. 2. Purpose/objective: Among other objectives are expected:-to assess all aspects related to the implementation of the concept: participation of the different stakeholders, the follow up of program activities, the organization of workshops, etc…-To check the efficiency of the curriculum in national language, in French and in life skills.-To check the relevance and the adaptation of the programme to the needs of the Malian population in general and that of women of the Saving For change program in particular, 3. Methodology: Before undertaking the field visit, the evaluators met the staff of Stromme Foundation West Africa in order to have the same understanding on the Terms of reference of the evaluation and to receive the documentation related to the program.Considering the program targets women of the Saving For Change program, the majority of people interviewed were women, either individually or in focus groups. Villages, which are easily accessible, were chosen because the evaluation occured in the rainy seaason. In total, ten villages were visited among which six for the current year and four for the previous years of the program. The villages were equally divided between both implementing partners.Two different methods were used to collect data. The interview guides were used on the one hand to hand to have the desired information and on the other hand the documentation were exploitaed. 4. Key findings: a)Strengths: The evaluation emphasised the following :-The good collaboration between Municipal authorities, implementing NGO and communities,-The good collaboration between Active Literacy and Saving For Change programs’actors,-The good strategy in the installation of Active Literacy Centres managing committee members,-The centres are less distant from each other,-The partners have long experiment in elimination of illiteracy,-The accomplishment of the work despite the difficult access to some villages,-The trust of SFWA in active Literacy-The involvement of a Consultant, partner NGO and learners in the revision of learning manuals. b)Weaknessess: Some of them are:-The insufficiency of documents for learners,- The insufficiency of involvement of Centre managing committee members in the management of centres,-The running of centres by night were causing some difficulties,- The insufficiency of follow up of SFWA on the field,-The six months for the duration of the training seems not to be sufficient to master all the content of the program and mainly the French component. 5. Recommendations: Among other recommendantion were formulated:-SFWA undertake more follow up on the field,-SFWA to produce more documents in quanlity and quantity for learners,-Implementing partners to reinforce community mobilisation,-Implementing partners to reinforce the capacity of centre managing committee members-Implementing partners as possible as they can to avoid night running classes,-SFWA to divide the duration of the training into two sessions (years):-1st session (year): four months in bambara and one month to introduce the French-2nd session (year): to pursue the French and post-literacy concomitantly 6. Comments from the organisation, if any: (this section to be filled by the staff responsible in SF’s Regional Office)The Active Literacy program is being implemented this year in the light of the recommendations formulated by the evaluation. First of all, another area easily accessable for SFWA, was chosen for the program to ensure periodic follow up. Secondly the duration of the program was revised so as to cover ten months instead of six. This period is devided by two years. The year will run from January to may to avoid periods when women are not available because of farm activities. Another point is that all centres are operational on day time. Last, manuals were produced sufficiently for learners.