Mid-term evaluation of Educational Project Bas-Uélé, Democratic Republic of the Congo
About the publication
- Published: March 2017
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Lena Boberg
- Commissioned by: --
- Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Theme: Education and research
- Pages: 29
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: The Baptist Union of Norway
- Local partner: Communauté Baptiste du Congo
- Project number: QZA-12/0763-12
CBCN operates in the province of Bas-Uélé in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Bas-Uélé is the second largest province in DRC, situated in the northern part of the country. Weak road infrastructure makes Bas-Uélé a quite isolated province.
CBCN is active in the social development in various ways; in the educational sector, in the health sector as well as with other social development issues. CBCN has a strong link with the BUN. The Educational project started in 2014 and is a 5-year project receiving funding from Norad.
The evaluation is a mid-term evaluation with the purpose of providing guidance for the future of the project based on assessment of project achievements and efficiency so far. It is also a learning evaluation, with the aim of contributing to capacity building of CBCN. The process and results of the evaluation will be used by CBCN when planning the project. There is also an interest in the evaluation results from BUN and Digni from their different roles as partners and donor.
The evaluation was designed to use mixed data collection methods:
- Document review: project documents, annual plans, annual reports and organization-specific documents
- Group discussions with teachers and school staff
- Interaction with students
- Key informant group interview with school leaders, parents’ committee leaders, representatives of CBCN, with BUN and with other key stakeholders
- Direct observation through visits to different project sites
- Interaction with staff involved in project management and implementation The data from these different sources have provided a possibility for triangulation to verify results.
The educational project has contributed to improvement of the quality of teaching in particular in the secondary schools, where school leaders and school committees have participated in training, and where textbooks, manuals and equipment have been distributed.
The project has reached all its intended target groups and the four change strategies of the project; training teacher in active and participatory methodology - PAP, training of school leaders, training of school committees, and distribution of textbooks, manuals and equipment are all relevant and interact giving synergy that contributes to the long-term goal of improving the quality of teaching.
The strategy for introducing PAP has as yet not been so successful, but the first three years of the project has provided the project management with insights that will be useful for further developing the approach in order for the results to be more sustainable. The training of school leaders and of school committees, as well as the distribution of textbooks, manuals and equipment are activities that are less complex and these been carried out successfully.
There have been some changes to the original implementation plan, based on experiences but also due to external issues; such as the budget being reduced due to depreciation of the Norwegian Krone, unrest in some of the targeted districts and bad conditions of the roads.
The project is management by experienced CBCN staff, and supported by the CBCN Project Coordination structure. CBCN is an important actor in Bas-Uélé in the educational sector, trusted by school staff as well as by educational authorities. The challenges for the educational sector in Bas-Uélé are huge. Many schools have bad infrastructure, there is a lack of desks and benches. Not all teachers are paid by the government. The provincial government’s income sources are weak. But Bas-Uélé also has dedicated and experienced people in the churches, civil society and in government, working to make a change.
CBCN should continue with their long-term engagement within the education sector, as they are an important change agent that also can positively influence other stakeholders. Digni could consider also supporting to some degree improvement of school infrastructure. E.g. if it is implemented within a framework of a school development program, where the school leader and school committees are trained, and the local community and local authorities show commitment in action to supporting the school.
To strengthen project strategy and sustainability:
- Teacher training strategy. Change the strategy for PAP teacher training, by establishing a few pilot schools, for example up to 5 primary schools and one or two secondary schools. These schools can be a long-term show-case of PAP in practice, where other teachers can come and learn, practice and observe. The pilot schools should also have trained and well-functioning school committees and a high-quality school leadership. Together, these elements can also be a good reference for democratic culture and a participative and transparent school governance.
- Study visit. Include a planned, and well-prepared study visit to another organisation that has experience in introducing PAP. E.g. 8th CEPAC in Bukavu, which is a church that has an extensive educational program.
- Advocacy. Join with other churches and civil society organisation for continuous and focused advocacy towards the central government regarding important strategic issues for the education system: payment of teacher salaries, support to improvement of school infrastructure, including PAP training in the teacher training programs nationally (the universities with psychology and Education departments, the UPN - Université Pédagogique National - and the teacher training colleges/ISP, as well as the pedagogical department of secondary schools that offer teacher training).
- Girls’ schooling. CBCN is an important change-agent in Bas-Uélé, and has access to many forums. Respect for girls and women, and actively advocating girls’ schooling is something that CBCN should work on with even more focus. As a trusted change-agent, CBCN has a voice in the community, but should also address these issues within the church itself.
- Replacement plan. Recommend, or even require that the secondary schools that have received books and equipment develop plan for how to replace textbooks, manuals, materials and equipment in the future.
To improve program efficiency
- Further develop the planning, monitoring and reporting systems and skills of CBCN.
- Supply the education project with a computer.
- In project planning and project description; increase focus on what change in people’s lives or in people’s behaviour that you wish to contribute to.
- Further develop budgeting competence within CBCN.