THE INTEGRATED PROGRAM OF CELPA, Democratic Republic of Congo Evaluation of the Health and Education Components and CELPA’s Administration
Background The Integrated Program of CELPA (IPC) is implemented by Communauté des Eglises Libres de Pentecôte en Afrique (CELPA) which is the Pentecostal Church in Africa based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The program is under the church administration of CELPA and supported financially by CELPA's Norwegian partner, The Pentecostal Foreign Mission in Norway (PYM). The IPC is a framework agreement project financed by the Norwegian Development Cooperation (NORAD) via the Norwegian Mission in Development (BN). CELPA recently finalized its new five year program for the 2007-2011 period. The annual budget for 2007, approved by NORAD and BN is US$ 1,127 millions (NOK 7,1 millions). Purpose/objective The main purpose of this evaluation was to assess CELPAs' competencies and capacities to implement development activities in the current scale and to assess sustainability related to its administrative, professional and financial capacities. The evaluation should focus on the program's health and education and its central project administration, including the organisation's systems, competencies and capacities. Gender and rights should be cross cutting themes. Methodology The methods used are; Review of documentation, Interview with administration and with project staff, Visit selected program areas and program activities, Meetings with local provincial authorities, Discussions and consideration with the steering committee of the church and the activity leaders.The evaluation addressed in particular the following issues: Relevance, CELPA's capacities for implementing the IPC, The sustainability aspects of the program, its management/organisation and program results and Recommendations for the future. Key findings The evaluation found that CELPA's health and education activities are very relevant and are in accordance with some of the most important needs of CELPA members, affiliates and the general public, in particular the needs of children and women. The quality of CELPA's health services are known to be good and the results of CELPA's activities in the education sector are recognized as some of the best nation-wide. The education component addresses the important need to construct and to rehabilitate school infrastructure which in many areas where CELPA operates has been destroyed or looted. Most of CELPA's school infrastructure is well planned and developed and in durable materials. The teacher training program addresses the critical need to strengthen the teachers' pedagogical capacities. However, CELPA gives priority to secondary education in urban areas where children generally have more education opportunities than boys and girls living in rural areas. CELPA's strategy to improve girls' net enrollment is important but focuses on primary education and not the secondary schools where the drop out rate of girls is extremely high. CELPA's efforts in constructing and rehabilitating health infrastructure are very relevant. Health facilities in CELPA's areas have often been destroyed frequently looted and poorly maintained for a long period. CELPA's current investments and other activities prioritize secondary health care. The church has a significant network which reaches far into remote rural areas and small townships. CELPA has also an ability to mobilize people and people often trust CELPA both as a vital church organization and as a committed development organization. Recommendations Many of CELPA's more than 275.000 members are women. There is an urgent need for CELPA, with the support of PYM: to promote women in leadership positions and as professional staff within CELPA's administration and in CELPA's many health and education facilities and to make women and girls beneficiaries at the same level as men and boys in all of the ICP's activities. CELPA has ambitious plans to build and rehabilitate an important number of new schools and health facilities in its new five year program. This is reasonable as people's needs for school and health care are urgent. Aspects CELPA should consider in its health and education sectors include: the important and growing maintenance needs of its many schools and health facilities and the strengthening of the capacities of CELPA's education and health personnel, including its supervision resources. Concerning the viability of CELPA's administration, CELPA has for long been very dependent on Norwegian donors, in particular PYM, NORAD and MFA. The church should try to increase its long term financial viability by exploring more of its own income sources and by establishing more long term partnerships with several other donors in the future. There is also great room to strengthen CELPA's administrative and financial procedures and to formalize its relationship with staff. With the aim of making the administration more lenient and some program activities more efficient and cost effective, CELPA should in the near future also reconsider the staff, program and activities of some of its program components.