Final Report. External Evaluation Of The Cooperation 2003-2007
Title of the evaluation report: University Of The Autonomous Regions of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast, Center for Studies and Information On Multiethnic Women, Forum For Women And Development (FOKUS), Fund for International Assistance of Norwegian Students and Academics. Final Report. External Evaluation Of The Cooperation 2003-2007. Background: The barriers to the enjoyment of human rights and equity in access to security and administration of development by women in the Coast are rooted in the power relations of different stripes: national policy decisions that exclude and discriminate against Indigenous and Afro-descended peoples and ethnic communities; inequitable gender and ethnic relations; and conflicts of power and intra-regional differentiation and heterogeneity, among others. From the historical point of view, the relations between the colonial powers on the one side and the dominated populations-indigenous and Afro descended peoples and their descendents-on the other, created structures that perpetuated practices and ideologies up to the present day that discriminate against and create unequal opportunities and treatment between men and women and between the peoples and national societies. Furthermore, gender-based violence is widespread in the region and act as a serious impediment to women's participation in society. Research on prevalence of violence is lacking, especially with regards to the psycho-social consequences of the civil war during the 1980s. Documenting prevalence of violence against women and its root causes and effects, and using this knowledge in formulation of regional gender equity plans have therefore been at the core of URACCANs/CEIMMs activities during the project period. Other activities include efforts to strengthen women's leadership capabilities, incorporating a gender approach to URACCANs research and teaching, and facilitating discussions on gender based violence within a multi-cultural context on the Atlantic coast. Purpose/objective: As an institution of higher education, URACCAN promotes Teaching, Research andCommunity Social Extension processes in order to project development with identity that links the indigenous knowledge and traditional practices into broader social-cultural sphere and facilitates empowerment and the practice of inter culturalism. URACCAN performs a strategic role in that it is identified as an "accompaniment of the regional governments, helping in the formulation of working documents, legislation and consultation processes. For CEIMM, promoting equality, self-determination and respect for individual and collective social, economic, political and cultural rights has been fundamental for the construction of a free society without discrimination in the framework of autonomy for the Caribbean Coast. Methodology: CEIMM invited participants from all levels of influence of the projects. Arenas of discussion and debate were created in the form of focal groups, as well as semi-structured dialogues and interviews, questionnaires and a guide for fulfillment of the evaluative cycle. Also taken into account were the reflections and products of the Team's internal evaluation process and the documents generated in the form of "Good Practices". Key findings: CEIMM has obtained and systematized information on the situation and role of women in this multiethnic context so as to influence public policy decisions, and are thus implementing a truly rights based approach. CEIMM direct interventions along demarcated levels of influence: regional institutional, academic, communal territorial/municipal and that of civil society of the Atlantic Coast and its corresponding actors (authorities, representatives of institutions and actors of civil society). Another aspect is the accompaniment and linkage with networks and other entities of civil society. In this way it facilitates and strengthens the formulation and development of plans that mobilize interests of different types, but prioritizing and ensuring that these plans are sensitive to women's interests. Results: In addition to increased gender awareness within URACCAN (researchers, teachers and students), CEIMM has successfully been involved in advocacy work towards formulation of The Gender Violence Research Plan in the Autonomous Regions of Nicaragua. CEIMM has taken leadership in coordinating and consensus building among women organizations, regional and community authorities, violence specialists for the implementation of the plan, especially focusing on including Afro-Descendant women. CEIMM has facilitated the inclusion of Afro-descendant women into regional governments in Nueva Guinea and Blue Fields, thus realized the goal of enhancing women's leadership and political participation. In line with Nicaragua's international and regional human rights obligations according to CEDAW (ratified in 1980) and the Inter-American Convention to Prevent, Sanction and Eradicate Violence against Women, known as the Belem do Pará Convention (ratified in 1995) has been addressed as an issue of discrimination. In 2009 CEIMM has also actively participated in working with the Regional Strategy for the Eradication of Gender Violence in the Southern Atlantic Region (RAAS). Recommendations: The evaluation team recommends continued support from FOKUS and SAIH for continuation and extension of the project, especially with regards to the ongoing work with formulation and implementing the Regional Strategy for the Eradication of Gender Violence in the Southern Atlantic Region (RAAS). Recommendations for URACCAN include tocontinue the development of teaching programs from the academic secretariats to achieve cognitive and socio-emotional objectives that stimulate women's capacity to exercise autonomy. URACCAN is encouraged to review the criteria used to evaluate the performance in graduate courses and determine in each case the most appropriate aspect of the continual formation processes and community extension. CEIMM is recommended to establish two-person coordinating teams to be located in different campuses in order to formulate work plans, identifying bibliographic inputs and establishing a monitoring, evaluation and follow-up system where feminist perspectives are incorporated into URACCANs four pillars; teaching/research, community extension, communication and advocacy. Structure the administration of the remainder of the project period in correspondence with URACCAN's programming: weekly planning and monitoring, quarterly coordination and monitoring meetings and annual evaluation of the results obtained.