Mid-term Evaluation Report of the Women’s Support Project in N`Tomikorobougou (Bamako/Mali)

Published: 2012 by Normisjon
Commissioned by:Normisjon
Carried out by:Mrs. Lalla Cissé, Mr. Sory Monekata, Mrs. Bergfrid Almelid
Tags:Mali, Women and gender equality

Summary

Background:
A pilot project was started in 2009, but the project activities did not start until January 2010, and hence the pilot phase was extended to 2012. The intention was to continue the project in a new five year period after the pilot phase.

The aim of the project has been capacity building of women in order to improve socio-economical life of families in the neighbourhood of N`Tomikorobougou. The project has worked in partnership with 12 women`s associations in the area.

Purpose/objective:
The purpose of the evaluation was to evaluate the administration of the project and the methods of intervention in order to give a recommendation for whether or not to continue the project.

Methodology:
The evaluation team reviewed project documents and collected data from all stakeholders. They collected data through observations, individual interviews and focus group interviews.

Key findings:
The evaluation states that the project is relevant, and it is effective in the way that it has established partnership with 12 women’s associations in the area. These comprise approximately 300 members and have a good coverage of the population and area.
Thanks to associations and technical and financial support of the Project; regular sanitation, lectures on health and hygiene, free detecting campaigns of disease are organised, sensitisation on health issues, hygiene and sanitation are conducted in households, literacy classes are organised for members, the construction of a shed in the Community Health Association (CHA), the recess of the equipment and the technical support of the CHA. The project has not built a centre for women because they are unable to acquire land, but the headquarter has been used as their multi-purpose centre. Despite these achievements, to improve effectiveness there is some challenges. This is mainly the mobilisation for activities and the acceptance of the strategy by the women. Despite various sessions of explanation and sensitizing, the women still keeps the idea that the value of a project lies on financial support given to their association. Ineffective participation of association’s members to the activities is an ongoing problem faced by the project since its beginning.

The efficiency of the project lies on its good coverage of the population and area. Thanks to the repartition of its partner associations in the four (4) areas of the neighborhood, we can say that the project covers the entire district N'Tomikorobougou and indirectly reach more than a quarter of its population.

The effects of the project which can show significant impacts is materialize by the organisational and institutional strengthening seen in 7 associations, the implementation of microcredit and other incomes generating activities by 9 associations against 2 to the start-up of the project.

Other important effects to note: contribution to the settlement of available health promoters, to the awareness of the population with possibility to clean the area, to facilitate the dissemination of health information in the area, to strengthen solidarity between women, a consideration by others to women as development actors.

However, when it comes to literacy, due to the lack of assiduity of listeners, we can say that most of the expected results cannot be achieved at the end of the project with the current strategies of implementation. Learning to read and write, however, is very important in the capacity of an individual or group. It is therefore necessary to change strategies in the literacy project.

In addition to the capacity building of associations, the establishment of Women Local Development Committee (WLDC) and Council are factors of sustainability of interventions initiated by the project. Despite a lack of commitment of the Board, to fulfill its advice responsibilities to support the project, reflects the involvement of local authorities (administrative and community), in the planning and review of project activities. Regarding the WLDC, although a doubt is perceptible to their level and at all other stakeholders regarding its capabilities, its role is beginning to be perceived by women. Members of WLDC are aware of the huge responsibilities assigned to them and are proud. But for now, the WLDC has neither technical, nor economical capacity to perform its role effectively.

Recommendations:
Regarding organisational, institutional and economical capacity building of Women`s associations the evaluation recommends to continue to build the capacity of the associations and start capacity building of the Women Local Development Committee. At the association level they recommend to focus on income generation activities.

Regarding the multifunction centre the evaluation recommends to establish a committee of land research and to either buy land or a building.

Regarding qualified staff, the evaluation recommends to rearrange the positions and have one more staff. They suggest having one coordinator responsible for administrative management, one position responsible for organisational development, one supervisor for all other activities and one part-time advisor. Each of the workers should have an annual plan where their own capacity building is included.

The evaluation suggests changing strategy for the literacy program. This includes reducing the length of training and teach topics more relevant for the women. They also recommend working with the church in order to better reach the servants in the area.

When it comes to health the evaluation recommends to focus on capacity building of the local authority (Community Health Association), and that the activities of the women`s associations should be based on plans.

Comments from the organisation, if any:
Due to the political situation in Mali in Spring 2012, the Norwegian coordinator of the project had to evacuate, and it was decided that she would not return. During the pilot period the project has already had three different coordinators and continuation was need. Since this was not possible, it was decided not to apply for a new period for the project. The project runs as planned in 2012 and will be finalised before the end of the year.

The publication is only available in digital format.

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