An Evaluation of the Zimbabwe Project
Background From 1998 till 2005 SAIH's project-portfolio in Zimbabwe concentrated on democracy and participation. In 2005 SAIH was in a process of renegotiating a new contract with NORAD and in that process SAIH undertook an external evaluation in order to assess the work that SAIH has supported in Zimbabwe over the last years has been efficient despite the increasing repressive conditions in the country; Purpose/objective 1. Provide a brief evaluation of today's programs/projects in Zimbabwe and their relevance to SAIH's education strategy, the Norwegian foreign Aid policy and the social, economic and political situation in Zimbabwe today.2. Determine to what extent the intervention have met the needs and priorities of the target groups.3. Assess if SAIH should continue its support to the existing partners Methodology 1. Meetings with senior management, board trustees, staff and volunteers of the SAIH supported NGOs in Harare and Bulawayo;2. Perusing over 50 documents, presentations, proposal, publications and strategic planning minutes.3. Short trips were made to the Arcturus Mine and to Bulawayo.4. A meeting was held with the Norwegian ambassador in Harare as well as with other international donors supporting some of the partner organizations;5. A final meeting was held in Harare where all the partners met to share information about their programmes. Key findings 1. that civil society organizations continue to perform and produce results under the most trying conditions;2. that there remains a strong sense of commitment by the leadership of the organizations, the project staff and the community structures (staffed by mostly volunteers) to continue with their activities despite the increasing repressive conditions in the country;3. target groups participate in the projects and activities with a sense of hope that things will improve and change in the not to distant future. Their sense of optimism is fuelled by the fact that under trying conditions they are nevertheless about to make limited, incremental changes in their own communities through participating in the structures and processes that have been provided by the SAIH supported programmes. Recommendations 1. Capacity building is one of the critical issues that need to be addressed by most of the partner organizations. There is a need to create capacity and leadership at community level so that the 'cascading' effects of the programmes have an impact at all these levels. 2. It is necessary for each of the organizations to review and evaluate whether their programmes and activities reflect the organisation's Vision and Mission so that they remain on track in terms of their core activities. 3. The SAIH project has emphasized to date the need for education as a prerequisite for liberation. This has resulted in a dedicated focus on education, knowledge development and information sharing. In response to the current conditions in Zimbabwe it is important that SAIH should in addition to the emphasis on education reassert the issue of Solidarity and look for meaningful ways in which it can demonstrate solidarity from the students' movement in the North with the citizens, especially the youth in Zimbabwe.