Evaluation of NPAs Civil Society Programme in Myanmar
Background In 2018, NPA conducted an external mid-term evaluation of the three year framework for civilsociety support for its NORAD and SIDA frameworks for 2016-2019 in Myanmar. Fortransparency and cost efficiency, one evaluation covered both grants to better be able to evaluatethe full implementation of the NPA Myanmar Country Strategy Pillar 1: Civil societyparticipating in the establishment of a stronger democracy, which these two grants contribute to. The evaluation aimed to : conduct a mid-term evaluation of the three-year NORAD and SIDA frameworks (2016-2019), under the civil society pillar of NPA’s Country Strategy. identify key lessons and recommendations to inform NPA’s global OfD programme, identify key lessons and recommendations for NPA’s partners to discuss and consider. Methodology The mid-term evaluation preferenced a process evaluation model, to identify challenges,experiences and lessons to inform ongoing implementation. The overarching evaluation questionsare included below in Table 2, and were examined within the context of the OECD/DAC evaluationframework. Key findings At a strategic level, NPA was assessed to be affecting meaningful change towards its overarchingobjectives, led through an array of effective civil society organisations. NPA Myanmar is a partnerbeyond the financial support it provides. NPA has enabled institutional growth for all selectedpartners and has provided responsive and flexible support from strategic guidance to bridgingfunding. Critically, it is assessed NPA’s work in Myanmar has been partner focused in its supports.Beyond upholding and furthering its underlying values, NPA is assessed to have flexibly respondedto the priorities and approaches deemed most critical, and most suitable by local organisations. Key Recommendations Partnerships - NPA should where appropriate, consider moving partners to longer-term funding agreements (two, three or four years), with funding released annually based on progression reporting and face-to-face reviews.NPA should seek to develop the facilitation skills of staff to more effectively engage partners to meet its capacity building objectives.Consider more opportunities to connect partners bilaterally and collectively, including through the establishment of community of practices for thematic issues.MEL - NPA should continue to support integrated design and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) practices as part of ongoing capacity development support.NPA should consider how to foster short-term placements of organisational development (OD) specialists, and opportunities greater peer-peer learning (secondments, staff exchanges or technical lessons learned workshops.NPA should consider training in ‘most significant change’ evaluation techniques, to assist partners more effectively monitor structural impacts.Advocacy - NPA should offer to visibly support its partners through proactively advocating their agendas among the international community (and feedback discussions to all partners wherever possible). Programme QualityNPA should continue to fund partners’ pilot activities that seek to test innovative and ambitious solutions to entrenched challenges. MainstreamingNPA partners should be encouraged to develop inclusion policies as part of good practice gender sensitive programming. Comments from the organisation These findings were shared with partners, on bilateral basis as well as during a specific partners’ meeting during which the consultant collected partners’ feedback to ensure the correctness of the information, as well as disclosed transparently his conclusions. In terms of our organisational response to these key recommendations, NPA Myanmar: Tries to secure several years grant framework with donor organisations to avoid funding gaps Actively works in increased support to partners to build their MnE capacity, while building our own staff capacity. An integrated MnE framework will be developed as part of the coming country strategy (2020 – 2024). NPA has now international staff focusing on Gender and Programme Quality to address the recommendations on programme quality and gender mainstreaming.