Assam Riot Victims’ Rehabilitation/Development Support Project (ARRP) –Full Term Evaluation (2009-2013)
About the publication
- Published: 2013
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Dr. Raj Kumar and Dr. Priya, Rainbow Christian Academy Pvt Ltd
- Commissioned by: Normisjon
- Country: India
- Pages: --
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Normisjon
- Local partner: World Service India Trust
- Project number: QZA-12/0763-163
The project works within 200 communities of Kokrajhar and Chirang districts spread over five development blocks. The objectives of the project include building healthy relationships between different ethnic groups, strengthening CBOs to address various issues concerning them, improving food security, empowering women, improving psycho social security and establishing partnerships between duty bearers and other service providers. The LWSI intervention was initiated after the riots in 1996 and 1998. The focus of the intervention was Relief (1996—2003) followed by Rehabilitation (2004-2008) and then Development (2009-2013).
The major aim of the evaluation was to assess the progress of the project towards its set goal, objectives and intentions. In addition the evaluation would have to consider relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability in the course of evaluation. Other specific areas for review are mentioned in the Terms of Reference.
Field visits were made to each of the zones including Gossaigaon, Sapkata, Sidli, Patgaon, Kochugaon and Balajang. Unstructured interviews and group discussions were held with different individuals and groups who participated in the project activities. On reaching the project location, the evaluation team had focused discussions with the project manager and the staff about:
a. Implementation of the mid term review recommendations
b. Challenges faced during the recent ethnic clash between Bodos and Muslims
c. Reasons for continuation of the project and areas of need
d. Visit of the evaluation team to the field and meeting with the target communities
CBOs are at a developmental stage and yet to reach maturity. Documentation of policies has been done at the national office level such as environment. However the project has no other documented policies. At the project level at Gossaigaon, the staff may not have adequate capacity to undertake suggested activities under way forward section.
The project has done well to identify and address areas related to the development in the community. However there are other factors, which contribute to poverty and poor status of the community such as poor quality and lack of access to sound education, land mortgage and limited alternative livelihood options.
The target communities have increased access to resources particularly with respect to agriculture and use of common land for cultivation and social forestry. In comparison to the mid-term review, it seems that there is an increase in the access to Government resources by the communities.
The project can also explore other local resources, which have commercial value and can benefit the target communities as alternative livelihood.
Self Help Groups need further help to build confidence, gain larger perspective and address issues on social change. Selected self help groups and focused training programs for them may be more helpful than mass awareness programs and one time training programs.
The existing project has accomplished its goals and objectives to some extent, but could have been more effective with better planning, monitoring and management.
A new project phase should be initiated with fresh aims and objectives based on specific issues and new working methodology i.e. focused intervention and consolidated project geographical area. The project plans need to be properly result oriented and a sound monitoring system be set up to follow up the accomplishment of targets.
• Identify selected issues such as Land mortgage, alternative livelihood for men involved in cutting trees and employment of youth; explore commercial viability of forest produce, preventing human trafficking, and education opportunities for youth, particularly girls.
• We suggest that fewer project locations are selected in a specific geographic area, avoiding widespread areas of work.
• Develop a proper monitoring system at the time of forming project goals and objectives with specific qualitative and quantitative indicators for monitoring.
• Periodic monitoring reports can be developed. Closer involvement of the head office staff with the project is essential to strengthen monitoring at all levels of the project.
• The VDC, self help groups or any other CBO can make the activities sustainable. It is highly essential to ensure that they are adequately empowered. Systematically focus attention on their empowerment.
• Train the staff and set targets and indicators for phasing out. At present the staffs are busy implementing the program without focus on phasing out the program and observing the phasing out indicators.