Expanding young people’s life opportunities from an intercultural perspective

About the publication

  • Published: October 2015
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Jocke Nyberg, Constance “Hai” Almquist Buvollen, Henningston Hodgson.
  • Commissioned by: Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH)
  • Country: Nicaragua
  • Theme: Indigenous peoples, Women and gender equality, Climate and environment
  • Pages: 66
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH)
  • Local partner: ): University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua (URACCAN), Centro de Estudios e Información de la Mujer Multiétnica (CEIMM), Fundación para la Autonomía y Desarrollo de la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua (FADCANIC), Centro de derecho Humanos, Ciudadanos y Autonómicos (CEDEHCA).
  • Project number: QZA 12/0822
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.


SAIH, The Students, and Academics International Assistance Fund started its engagement in the Atlantic Region of Nicaragua in 1980 by sending health personnel to the region, and by supporting health institutions. In the early 1990s, SAIH started a collaboration with FADCANIC, and was among the first supporters in building up an autonomous university at the Atlantic coast of Nicaragua, Universidad de las Regiones Autónomas de la Costa Caribe Nicaragüense - URACCAN. In 2009, SAIH left the health sector and concentrated its work in Nicaragua on education.

Former evaluations have been carried out on a partner and project level. However, in this evaluation, we wanted to look at SAIH’s long-term engagement in the region on a program level, primarily within the area of education.


The evaluation had four objectives: (1) identify and analyse results in terms of impact, specifically at program level; (2) give advice on future programming for development cooperation, both related to SAIH and partners; (3) analyse the quality of the partnership; (4) analyse project and partner sustainability with focus on Nicaraguan responsibility to ensure citizens’ enjoyment of the right to education.


Data was collected through study of documents, face-to-face single interviews, focus groups and interviews using skype. A total of 149 people – divided into seven categories of stakeholders - were interviewed in seven locations: the cities of Managua, Bluefields and Bilwi, the small towns and villages Rosita, Waspam and Pearl Lagoon and the boarding school in the natural reserve Wawashang.

Key findings

Overall conclusion: The evaluation found that SAIH’s development cooperation is relevant for the development of the Atlantic region and partners work. The cooperation has been well focused with good potential to be further improved.

  • The most important result on the impact level is SAIH’s work on education in the region. It is a significant contribution to the establishment of SEAR as an educational legal sub-system. SAIH’s partners have placed education as a priority issue on the political and development agenda in the Atlantic region.
  • SAIH’s contribution to the establishment of URACCAN is another impact on the entire development of the Atlantic region, increasing opportunities of qualitative higher education for young people in areas deprived of even basic educational services
  • Tolerance and cooperation between ethnic groups is another important contribution by SAIH through the continuously focus on the promotion of multi-culturalism and bilingual education.
  • Teachers throughout the region are better equipped in professional terms thanks to primarily FADCANIC’s consistent training of teachers inside teachers schools, with a wide range of further results: expanding the region’s professional teaching, making education more stable in rural communities, improved teaching quality and providing communities with social leadership.
  • SAIH has also contributed to expanding partners and beneficiaries’ international networks, with a number of contacts with mostly other academic institutions in Norway and Latin America. Those contacts have resulted in exchanges of different education experiences, related to policy and strategies on bilingual and multi-ethnic education, teaching methodologies and improving postgraduate education.


A total of 7 recommendations were made.

  1. SAIH should start an internal learning process about Result Based Management (RBM) in general and adapted to the field of education. It is true that planning frameworks has improved lately but there is still a gap between SAIHs understanding of outputs, outcomes and impacts and partners understanding and use of these concepts.
  2. SAIH should require partners to initiate an assessment of the status of SEAR, that is an overall analysis of the status of the right to education in RACCS and RACCN and factors related to challenges and failures.
  3. SAIH and partners should map young people’s employability and careers by identifying a limited number students and participants of the programs: what are they doing for living some years after: work, studies, unemployment, income, activism, where they live etc.
  4. The recommendation of maximizing the use of resources and knowledge is by having the interconnection between the four organisations and SAIH supported projects. Each partner can assist in each of each other’s project when needs arise.
  5. To improve data on levels and prospects of sustainability SAIH should intensify the dialogue with partners on financial flows related to income generation outside of donor resources, including financial provisions by the state.
  6. SAIH together with partners should initiated a dialogue on the concept of Theory of Change. What are the most important conditions in the Nicaraguan society that have a positive effect of education?
  7. SAIH should encourage partners to coordinate efforts to collect statistics and analysis of trends on violence against women and sexual and reproductive rights and on economic empowerment of women connected to education.

Comments from the organisation, if any

As a follow up of the report, SAIH have discussed the key findings and recommendations with partners. Partners have also been given the opportunity to comment on aspects of the results and impacts of the collaboration they consider important, but that did not appear sufficiently in the final report.

Both partners and SAIH has prioritized to focus on the recommendations on improving the systematizations and communication of young people´s life situations after leaving the educations and/or training programmes. E.g. by mapping employability and career opportunities. Another important aspect is to assess the status of SEAR, in order to identify challenges and opportunities for its implementation. A final area of priority is to discuss and analyse the financial sustainability of the partners in the programme.

Published 06.06.2016
Last updated 06.06.2016