Organisational Development and Other Initiatives for the Deaf in Palestine. An ex-post evaluation
About the publication
- Published: 2005
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: SINTEF Unimed, Marit Hoem Kvam and Arne H. Eide
- Commissioned by: Atlas Alliance
- Country: Palestine
- Theme: Health
- Pages: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
In the last half of the 1990s, the Norwegian Association of the Deaf and the Signo Foundation
started planning a project in Palestine1. Prior to this, a survey of the situation was carried out and the report A study of the development aid co-operation in the Palestinian Territories between The Norwegian Association of the Deaf and The Home for Deaf Foundation (Now: The Signo Foundation) was presented (Cicerone, Kottmann Consultancy).
The 1999 Annual Report from The Disabled Person's Aid Fund (now: The Atlas-Alliance) states that "evaluation will first begin after the main project is initiated." The Norwegian Association of the Deaf and The Signo Foundation engaged SINTEF Unimed (now SINTEF Health Research) to undertake this evaluation. Research Director Arne H. Eide performed the first review of the project (SINTEF Memo dated Nov. 29, 2002).
The project started in 1999 and was due to end in 2004, but has been extended until the end of 2005.
1. "To establish and strengthen a network of interest groups for the deaf in Palestinean Territories, at Gaza and the West Bank. The goal was to increase the strength and awareness of adult deaf Palestinians so that they can able to fight for their own rights through the different interest groups."
2. "To offer continuing sign language education for teachers of the deaf in Palestine. The strategy should provide the best possible bilingual education to children in order to achieve the best possible competency in Palestinian sign language and Arabic written and spoken language. This should enable them to have meaningful lives and power to fight for the rights of the deaf in society as adults." (From Assignment Description)
The evaluation is based on relevant documents as well as on-site visits and interviews with key persons. It has been somewhat difficult to undertake a precise evaluation because of unclear criteria for achieving the objectives. Also, the focus and the practical implementation have changed underway, partly due to recurring curfews and the limited freedom of movement in the different parts of Palestine.
Since this report is concerned with the end evaluation of the Palestinian Project, the decision
oriented approach is the best method to follow. The recipient of the evaluation is the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation -NORAD. The report should assess objectives and processes. It will focus on the situation today in relation to the laid objectives and available resources, as well as investigate the users' opinions.
Based on the information and observations which are available, it can be stated that the project so far has not achieved its two main goals (bilingual education in the schools and establishing a deaf union). However, the project has undoubtedly been a contributing factor in the improved situation for the deaf in Palestine. One positive development is that the deaf seem to have gained increased self-confidence. The status of sign language has increased among the common man on the street as well as among professionals, especially since it is used during news broadcasts.
The project Organisation Development and other Initiatives for the Deaf in Palestine has come to an end. The project has - together with other initiatives - contributed to a development and generalization of sign language in the common Palestinian society as well as in the deaf society.
It is difficult to say to what degree there will be a need for more help in the future. A well-known principle is that successful projects emerge from the wishes and needs among the recipients. It is also important to make realistic plans, fully in accordance with available human and economical resources. It may also be more effective to concentrate on one objective and one target.
Furthermore, we recommend that the leadership both in Norway and in Palestine have more
written details about the tasks and duties of all participating project members. This will enable the management to control whether they are on the right track.
If the Norwegians will continue to cooperate with projects in the future, the evaluators will
recommend that the Norwegian proficiency in sign language matters be in focus. There will be, in any case, a need for Palestinian support from CNCR or another NGO, or officials on a higher level.