The Development Progam of the Region of Mopti (PDRM), Mission Evangélique Luthérienne au Mali (MELM), Final Report
About the publication
- Published: December 2014
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Dr. Hilde Nielssen (Senior Researcher, University of Bergen, Norway), and Saliki Coulibaly (Assistant Medical, Chargé de Suivi Evaluation, Secretariat Exécutif, Haut Conceil de la Lutte contre le SIDA, Mali)
- Commissioned by: Det Norske Misjonsselskap/Norwegian Mission Society (NMS)
- Country: Mali
- Theme: Civil society
- Pages: --
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Det Norske Misjonsselskap/Norwegian Mission Society (NMS)
- Local partner: Mission Evangelique Luthèrienne au Mali (MELM)
- Project number: QZA-12/0763-153
The work against female genital mutilation (FGM) and the promotion of women is an important area of support in Norwegian development aid to Mali since 2009. NMS got earmarked support for the project activities to stop FGM or female circumcision in Mali.
A Mid-Term Review of the PDRM Programme was conducted in 2011.
From 2009 to 2012, PDRM, coordinated three different projects in separate geographical locations: two integrated rural development projects with a focus on natural resource management (NRM) in the southern parts of the rural municipalities in the Seeno area (communes of Dallah, Kerena and Haïre), and a project dedicated to the fight against FGM, accompanied by development projects in the municipality of Konna.
The invasion by Islamist rebels in early 2012 forced the Programme to abandon the Seeno-based project and relocate its resources to the other project, which were subsequently expanded to four other municipalities. Thus, a large proportion of the Programme now in function was initiated as late as in 2012. The last of municipalities involved in the Programme was implemented in May 2014.The scope of this Review will therefore the period between 2012 and 2015. PDRM is now working in 46 villages in 6 communes in Mopti region.
NMS asks for and owns this final evaluation of the project. There are two main reasons for having an evaluation:
1. Learning. The evaluation process is by itself expected to be seen as a learning tool for the project workers, MELM and NMS.
2. Prepare decisions. The evaluation report will serve as a foundation for making decisions in MELM and NMS concerning further project work in Mali.
The methods of work by the Review Team have been mainly qualitative. Given the focus upon evaluating the operational aspects of the program, a significant amount of time was spent visiting villages and interviewing a representative selection of key stakeholders and beneficiaries.
The Review Team concluded that PDRM is a well-conceived, strategic and innovative programme, which represents a significant contribution to the fight for the abandonment of FMG, to women empowerment, to the enforcement of local democracy and civil society, to rural development and improved living conditions in the intervention zone. The Programme has established effective administrative and financial procedures, and innovative and successful working methods. It is well lead and the management team has responded to challenges in a timely, creative and constructive manner.
An important asset of the Programme for the Development of the Mopti Region (PDRM) is its particular innovative holistic development approach, which aims to build upon local initiatives and local decision-making. Local ownership, participation and relevance are important key words. This approach aims to bridge the gap between a traditional
intervention approach (where projects intervene in a way that tends to make people into passive recipients) and local ownership and participation. By initiating processes of change, the Programme seeks to induce a long term and sustainable process of self-development. Equally important, Programme intervention is made in close cooperation with the local authorities. The Programme’s integrated cooperation with the Malian government and its structures and agents on regional and local level represents a pioneer effort in the context of development work
The Review Team would like to emphasize the following: The way the Programme has succeeded in establishing a discourse on FMG in a setting where the subject has been highly tabooed, represents a significant outcome. Furthermore, sensitization and training have resulted in a new awareness and knowledge of the consequences and dangers of the practice. Entire communities have now officially declared the abandonment of the practice of FGM as a consequence of the Programme. 2/3 of the villages involved in the Programme (totally 46 villages in 6 communes) had by the time of this evaluation made a collective stand against FGM by signing a declaration witnessed by local authorities.
The Programme has also affected living conditions in a broad sense, in terms of improving women’s role and position in society, improved health conditions, increased income, nutrition, literacy and environmental protection. The Programme has managed to mobilize local communities, local leaders, and local and regional governmental administration to engage in the cause (by participating in planning, organization and monitoring activities). In each community involved, voluntaries has been mobilized and trained as voluntary animators engaged in sensitization. Religious leaders have been mobilized to engage.
The innovative holistic development approach applied in the fight against FMG has been an important key to the Programme’s success.
- The work initiated by PDRM needs to be continued, and should be supported by Norway as it has an important contribution to the fight against FGM, and to improved reproductive health and life conditions for women in Mali. Experiences gained through its innovative holistic approach have potentials to benefit efforts also in a larger national context.
- DIGNI should continue to support its Strategic Partnership with the MELM and NMS in Mali.
- MELM and NMS should seek to find ways to continue and secure the sustainability of the work established through the PDRM Programme.
- Further, pursue and elaborate the participative approach.
- The Programme should build on experiences made so far to systematically develop methods for how traditional, cultural and experiential knowledge may be transformed into a resource for development. Working through existing cultural systems may facilitate social change.
- Develop systems of sharing models of good practice (ideas, competence, cooperation) both between the different municipalities in the Programme, and between the different local communities within a municipality.
- The role, position and organization of development work within MELM should be clarified before initiating a new development programme.
Comments from the organisation, if any: