Equality Myanmar Human Rights Education Programme External Evaluation

About the publication

  • Published: May 2015
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Maureen O’Flynn
  • Commissioned by: Stefanusalliansen
  • Country: Myanmar (Burma)
  • Theme: Human rights
  • Pages: 41
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Stefanusalliansen
  • Local partner: Equality Myanmar
  • Project number: QZA-12/0763-182
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.

Background

The overall objectives of the EQMM HRE project are

  • To build the capacity of local activists as trainers, advocates, leaders, and community organizers,
  • To raise awareness of human rights in grassroots communities through participatory education,
  • To support communities’ initiation of human rights based actions.

The project locations are all over Myanmar but specifically Yangon and Mandalay (ToTs, Refresher Courses, and internships)

Purpose/objective

This evaluation has been commissioned as part of an agreement between Stefanus Alliance and Equality Myanmar.

Its purpose is

  • To identify any significant positive or negative changes in the life of beneficiaries as a result of project intervention, directly or indirectly (impact)
  • To identify potential continuation of impact after the end of project (sustainability)
  • To assess project outcomes and results for different groups of people (by gender, ethnicity)
  • To generate lessons learned from all aspects of the project, and
  • To provide practical recommendations for planning/adjustments or alternatives for the future planned activities development throughout project year.

Although the evaluation focussed on the HRE programme, the evaluation also considered the linkages between this and the EQMM advocacy programme with a view to recommending ways of strengthening the link between the two.

Methodology

The challenge was to conduct an evaluation which could validate the internal reviews and plans that had already been carried out and which would add value and contribute further to organisational learning. Informed by this, the consultant developed an evaluation framework which would enable EQMM and Stefanus to evaluate their achievement and lessons learned In relation to a bigger picture of change (thus focussing more on their contributions to change in terms of HRE, and less on what they actually achieved) This seemed to be particularly relevant in the very volatile and fast changing contexts in which the organisation is operating.  

The process included the following elements:

  • Commentary on the ToR
  • Desk research
  • Preparation of the evaluation framework and key areas of enquiry and methodologies
  • Initial meetings with a core group of staff to comment on and refine the framework
  • Presentation and sharing of “stories of success” template for staff and others to use
  • Meetings and interviews with key stakeholders and informants as planned
  • Writing of draft findings, conclusions and recommendations for staff to discuss and consider.
  • Writing the report

Key findings

Summary of findings (focussing on different EQMM stakeholders in line with the evaluation framework):

Trainers are committed to HRA and highly motivated. Teams are however overstretched. It is difficult to know to what extent the demand for quantity of training programmes is compromising their quality.

All alumni interviewed demonstrated changes in HR awareness, motivation and/or activism. Particularly notable were there very high levels of motivation evidenced as well as significant shifts in attitude for some alumni.

Community mobilization projects are strategically important for EQMM as they represent one of the strongest links between HRE and activism. There are also examples of concrete changes in terms of creating further momentum for change; and for holding duty bearers to account; and being able to support national advocacy efforts by being included in thematic fora at national level.

Civil society networks and the role that EQMM plays in relation to promoting HR:

  • EQMM plays a very significant leadership role in terms of supporting its partners to become stronger and more effective advocates
  • The HRE project plays an important role in spreading the HR message and building skills and motivation for activism primarily at community levels but also (sometimes indirectly) at national and international levels. This element of the project is highly effective.
  • Currently the links between HRE and advocacy seem to be more organic and opportunistic than strategic

Recommendations

Recommendations focus on three key areas:

  • Strengthening the current training programmes so that the HR message reaches out to more people in Myanmar, and EQMM can meet the growing demand for HRE services more effectively
  • Making stronger and more strategic links with the advocacy programme
  • Organisational strengthening in order to be able to retain a leadership role in HRE in Myanmar

The evaluator praises EQMM for its passion, dedication and fully embedding HRBA in all that it does. It recommends that EQMM continues to provide its highly valued training programmes.

Comments from the organisation, if any

We find the external evaluation very useful, highlighting important areas for continued support. It is also assuring to have an external evaluator analysing the project and arriving at conclusions and suggestions that we see ourselves and support.

Published 11.09.2015
Last updated 11.09.2015