Improving Lives of Marginalized Youth and Families (ILOM), Final Evaluation report
Background Save the Children Nepal has been implemented the project Improving Lives of Marginalized Youth and Families (ILOM) in the partnership with Local NGO Banke UNESCO Club (BUC Banke) in support of Dalit Welfare Organization (DWO) from July 2010 to December 2011, hence 18 months. The project aimed to improve status of youth and their families through vocational and micro enterprises interventions, and mobilization of the revolving fund through local level cooperative. Purpose/objective The main objective of this evaluation was to document the outcome and results of the project. Specific focus of the evaluation was as following:- To assess the level of effectiveness and efficiency of the project in line of project results and objectives;- To measure the quantitative, quality achievements and sustainability efforts for the actions in relation to result outcomes and impacts;- To draw lessons learnt and recommendations for replication of good practices in similar programs;- To assess the relevancy and effectiveness of action at activity level and contribution to achieve results and sustainability. Methodology Participatory approaches like Focus Group Discussion, Key Informant Interview, Stakeholders Meeting and Observation/Field Visits were employed. Detail checklists were developed and used while exercising the above methods in the study. Key findings The project has brought significant impact on increasing the households' income by 57.58 percent through supporting the viable enterprises and simultaneously developing skill and knowledge on entrepreneurship development and practice of business plan. Household survey also revealed that all participants (100%) have responded their knowledge and skill for business development has increased as compared during the project. 98.9 percent of the participants report that they now practice business plan. Most importantly 266 marginalized youth have been self-employed mainly because of community based viable micro-enterprises. Target beneficiaries have been able to manage their livelihood through reaping good income from their business. As a result, 67.1 percent household has food sufficiency for 9-12 month than before (8%). In addition, average food available month has increased by 37.72 percent among beneficiaries and migration to outside for the job was also found decreased by 17.4 percent than before (34.5%), Possession of livelihood assets has been increased significantly such as water pump, bicycle, tanga, mobile, chair, television, table, fan, radio, computer, grass cutter and cupboard. Target beneficiaries have been able to manage child education and nutrition and health of children and women. Study shows son and daughter's access to boarding school has been increased by 84.11 and 90.48 percent during the project (15.89 and 9.52% pre-project), respectively. 92.1 percent participants said consumption of nutritious food increased and 89.9 percent people said disease occurrence was also decreased after the project. As a result living status of beneficiaries has been improved and 54.9 percent target beneficiaries have been able to say their self-dignity in family and community increased. This indicates that the project has made remarkable contribution to address the goal of SCs' livelihood theme. Implementation of the project intervention through participatory planning was found very much effective. The project team provided intensive coaching and advice to partners through participatory review and planning meeting organized timely with partners to implement the action plans as team had developed. The detail implementation plan, review and reflection workshop have also been effective for collecting quality data for monitoring the progress of the project. Recommendations - As the revolving fund mobilization through cooperative was found to be a good approach, all partners can replicate this approach integrating it into other program to generate impact on wider scale. - Entrepreneurs who intend to expand their business in large scale are expecting help in terms of big credit facilities, scaling –up, marketing system, quality assurance. So, post project support strategy focusing on building partnership with diverse nature of service provider need to be considered.- UNESCO, Banke needs to register the groups in government system for accessing resources from them which help to expand their business and also for long term sustainability.- Need to build strong and functional management committee for long term sustainability of revolving fund after the project phase out. For this SC need to built this issue in guideline for ensuring accountability and ownership of revolving fund.- SC should develop a longer term project based on learning and good practice in this project in order to increase coverage and benefit more marginalized youth and children.- Joint monitoring should be carried out with participation of LDO, CDO, DADO rather than participating to news reporter only. All project partners need to give priority to developing such mechanism in future for internalization and ownership of the project. Comments and follow-up from the organisation, if any ILOM was one of the pilot projects under the Livelihoods theme, and now these learnings and good practices are incorporated into the existing Livelihoods and Nutrition project funded by SC Italy in Three District of Mid-western region on Nepal.