External review of WILPF Organisational Model and Projects in Lebanon 2001-2008
About the publication
- Published: 2008
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Nora Ingdal & Aziza Khalidi
- Commissioned by: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Norway (IKFF) FOKUS
- Country: Lebanon
- Theme: Civil society
- Pages: --
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Forum for Women and Development (FOKUS)
- Local partner: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom Lebanon (LCPF)
- Project number: GLO 06-281-15
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Lebanon (LCPF) is the Lebanese branch of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, and was established in 1962. WILPF's main aims are to" bring together women of different political beliefs and philosophies who are united in their determination to study, make known and help abolish the causes and the legitimization of war; to work toward world peace; total and universal disarmament; the abolition of violence and coercion in the settlement of conflict and its replacement in every case by negotiation and conciliation; to support the civil society to democratise the UN system; to promote political and social equality and economic equity; to enhance environmentally sustainable development."
The purpose of the Review was twofold: To assess the results of the project cooperation between LCPF and IKFF, including the main project "Capacity-building for a culture of peace"; and secondly, to assess the administrative and organisational models utilised by IKFF and LCPF.
In-depth interviews conducted with more than 50 individuals from IKFF, LCPF, FOKUS and externals, focus group interviews with young women and board members, as well as document reviews. The evaluation team reports that they had difficulties with getting access to all members of IKFF and that internal conflicts within LCPF constrained the process. FOKUS initiated the process of conducting an External Review of IKFF and its project activities with LCPF. The elaboration of the Terms of Reference (TOR) was a joint exercise. FOKUS nominated a Team Leader that was approved by IKFF, and LCPF nominated the Team member from Lebanon.
Taking into consideration the size of the budgets, the volunteer nature of the work and the political climate in Lebanon, the results of the projects might be considered acceptable. Measuring the project outcomes against what was planned (capacity-building of LCPF, women empowerment, UNSCR 1325 awareness and activities) the Review Team found that a significant proportion of planned targets were not met. The themes of the projects are highly relevant in post-conflict Lebanon, but project goals were unrealistic, especially in light of LCPF's limited implementation capacity and IKFF's ability to monitor and follow-up. Due to internal conflicts in LCPF and IKFF's follow-up approach, IKFF's competence on campaigning and networking for the implementation of UNSCR 1325, has not been shared with LCPF. Thus, the important value-added of IKFF has not been fully explored in this project.
With regards to IKFF' ability to adapt to FOKUS' new strategy of moving from individual projects to geographic or thematic programmes, the team recognizes that expanding the project in Lebanon to for example a regional programme in the Middle East or a thematic programme on 1325 for other FOKUS' partners working in the Middle East, are not seen as viable options due to the weak implementation capacity and experience of the Lebanese partner in networking, linking and advocating for change.
Taking into consideration the size of the budgets, the volunteer nature of the work and the political climate in Lebanon, the results of the projects might be considered acceptable. Measuring the project outcomes against what was planned (capacity-building of LCPF, women empowerment, SCR 1325 awareness and activities) the Review Team found that a significant proportion of planned targets were not met. Inputs in the project have been channelled to networking activities, training of women leaders and diffusion of information on gendered consequences of war. However, annual reporting during the project period does not verify that activities have resulted in significant change or results. Therefore the evaluation primarily bears sign of documenting activities, rather than results.
Four relatively small projects (including a pre-study) have been funded with a total value of 1.5 million NOK (264.300 USD) since 2001. The most tangible outputs of the project cooperation that the Review Team has been able to verify are the following:
International networking and Travels (see Annex IV):
21 WILPFers (10 from LCPF and 11 from IKFF) have travelled and attended 9 international conferences and meetings related to women and peace work. 5 project visits were made to Lebanon by IKFF, and two project visits were made by LCPF to Norway. International recognition of LCPF as active member section of WILPF Vice-president of LCPF was elected Vice President of WILPF for two consecutive terms. Participation in FOKUS' international networking conference in Thailand 2007.
Training and awareness work in Lebanon
Two major empowerment training sessions in two geographic locations (Beirut/Bhamdoun) with a number of young female participants in 2003-5, and 8 workshops held for young women in Gharifeh 2006-2008. Third empowerment session cancelled. Planned newsletters for many years never implemented. Planned Oral History project about women's experiences in war and conflict started, but not completed. Core group of 3 young women initiated Y-WILPF in Lebanon, attended the 2004 congress in Sweden (including Gertrude Baer) and visited Norway, less active today. Young women in Gharifeh, established a Facebook-group for Y WILPF, keep up meetings and commitment to learn more about peace/women's rights. Y WILPF internationally was revitalised with the support of young women from Norway and Lebanon.
Although IKFF has been working systematically on the operationalisation of UNSCR 1325 for many years, by for example translating 1325 to Norwegian language, organizing seminars/workshops and lobbying the government to implement the resolution, the inclusion of 1325 in the Lebanon project took place only in plans for 2008. However, the team found little evidence that LCPF is working in the same way; there was low awareness level of 1325 in the organisation itself, despite the fact that three Project Managers and one board member from LCPF had attended the FOKUS networking conference in Thailand in 2007 with the main theme being 1325. From IKFF, one former co-Project Manager attended the conference.
The evaluation team recommended two options with regards to future project cooperation, either to take a break from the financial project cooperation in 2009 or to send a limited application to FOKUS in order to design an organizational strategy and implement small scale activities with realistic targets.