Norad preventing Child Marriage Project Midterm review
Purpose/objective The Mid-Term Review (MTR) assessed the degree to which planned outcomes around the four projects are on course to achieve the targeted results. The key objectives of the MTR was to assess the projects for the following: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, project management and sustainability. The MTR also assessed the project’s performance on cross cutting issues; gender equality, disability inclusion, unexpected results, added value and participation. The review intended to identify strengths and weaknesses of the child marriage programme in the country, which will guide the programme towards improvement during the current implementing period and for planning of future child marriage related programmes/programmes. Methodology The evalution used Mixed Method; both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. Quantitative data was gathered from project routine data and qualitative data was collected using Focus Group Discussions and Key Informant Interviews. Key findings A: Findings on Project Management assessment Finding 1: Fitness of the program with implementing partners strategy It was established that partners have the same objective as PCM. It was noted that, one of the reason that a partner is selected to work in the PCM project was the fact that they have child protection as one of their priorities. Partners were chosen because they do work that is linked to project interventions such as training in Reproductive and Child Health right or provision of vocational training service Finding 2: Project Monitoring The project monitoring and evaluation plan was developed to support routine project monitoring activities, this M&E plan is aligned with project results framework guiding the measuring of project performance through tracking of results. The project has experienced delayed contextualization of the Results framework to guide the M&E design. Probably such limitations led to limited correct guidance to the baseline of the project and probably this could be one of the reasons why the project had a baseline but in most of the indicators the baseline values were not used. It was established that the country office is working hard to realign the RF to suit the project and there are initiatives on orienting the field staff of the reporting requirements. Further it was found that there are intention of digitalizing data collection, this awaits the ongoing global initiative on digitalizing the data collection so as to align the in-country systems with the global one. Further the team also indicated the need for thinking beyond numbers. B: Projects influence on intended results Finding 1: Awareness of children rights It was established that both primary and secondary schools children know their rights. Knowledge of children rights were mainly on issues related to things that parents have to offer such as clothes, shelter, food, education and time to rest and play. Further children mentioned that they have rights to be protected by their parents, at school and by the public at large from being abused. Further they mentioned that they have right to be involved in decision making and to be listened. In school children were reached through peer educators, their teachers and clubs. The project is conducting training to create awareness to school teachers and peer-educators on child protection. Further clubs were established to form platforms for children to learn about their rights and have collective efforts peer to peer support.Generally the understanding of child rights for out of school children was found to be lower than the in-school children. Finding 2: Understanding of Child abuse Both in and out of school children, VSLAS , YSLAs members and Key Informants who were interviewed understand what child abuse is and its various forms. Children know where to report abuse cases - areas mentioned include village government, police and teachers even though there is discontentment in reporting abuse include- cases to be left unheard and just vanish, fear of being accused by the culprits and loss of relationship between community members- feel insecure to report cases. Children with disability are more vulnerable and cannot protect themselves due to their physical condition. Finding 3: Child Marriage There is a good understanding of who is a child in the context of the project of preventing child marriage. Majority mentioned a child is any person under age of 18. Respondents mentioned contradiction between the marriage Acts and other statutory documents regarding the age of a child in as far as marriage is concerned. The MTR established that several project interventions have been implemented that geared to prevent child marriage these include strengthening of community based child protection systems as well as empowering girls and parents to be able to resist child marriage. Findings 4: Economic Empowerment It was established that one of the activities done by this project is to enhance capacity of girls to generate income in order to be able to sustain themselves and their children. This was done through encouraging of formation youth and villages loan and saving associations (YSLAs). Further the project developed capacity of these groups in entrepreneurships. Apart from group training there was youth training in various vocational skills including electrical installation, tailoring, cookery and decoration. The experience as of now indicates positive prospects for both youth who received vocational training and those joined YSLAs. For vocational training skills the project catered for their training costs. This MTR established that some of the trainees have managed to employ themselves by forming groups and secured loans from the government. In Nkasi district among the sixteen trainees who undergo tailoring and graduated in 2017 only five have managed to register their group, got a loan and establish their own private business. Finding 5: Inclusion Project inclusion agenda is good and the challenge is on mechanisms to which inclusion can be effected in terms of how to identify those with added vulnerabilities. Recommendations Continue with currently ongoing process of adapting the RF and improving its clarity Define what exactly the role of this project will be in enhancing or facilitating inclusion of vulnerable and of groups with additional vulnerability. Provide country level guidance on the levels of engagement of the project in enhancing inclusion (identify where the project has direct role and where the project has indirect role) The project to expand the M&E scope to also address learning and devise a learning agenda including scientifically robust methods of documenting the lessons Project to develop clear advocacy strategy with concrete agenda that identifies influencing styles by target Comments from the organisation Plan International appreciates the findings of the mid-term review and agree with the recommendations given, some of which are already being addressed. Plan Norway will particularly follow up on the M&E part of the recommendations, supporting the country office in adapting and improving the results framework for the remaining period, and use this learning to improve future programmes. Plan Norway will also look at how we can support the country office in the recommendation to develop advocacy strategies.