Partnership with Emerging Civil Society

About the publication

  • Published: March 2017
  • Series: --
  • Type: NGO reviews
  • Carried out by: Abiye Alemu and Desalegn Mesfin
  • Commissioned by: --
  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Theme: Women and gender equality, Human rights
  • Pages: 109
  • Serial number: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organization: Norsk Folkehjelp
  • Local partner: SOS Sahel, Dedebit Credit and Saving Institute (DECSI), Action for Development (AfD), MELCA, Association for Women Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD), HIBIR, Siiqqee Women’s Development Association (SWDA), Save Lives Ethiopia (SL), ROBA, Women and Children Self-reliant (WCS)
NB! The publication is ONLY available online and can not be ordered on paper.


The Norad supported program for the period 2012-2016 was subjected to a final evaluation. 10 Ethiopian partner organizations have been supported by the program. The thematic areas were Natural Resource Management (NRM), Gender based violence (GBV) Livelihoods and Women empowerment (WE).  The geographical focus was limited to Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities People Region (SNNP), Addis Abeba and Tigray.


The objective of the program was “Marginalized groups in Ethiopia (youth, women, small farmers and pastoralists) participate more in society and have better access to power and natural resources in their community”.


The methodology used reflected the UNDP Evaluation Guidance for GEF Financed Projects. The evaluation was conducted and the findings were structured around the following six major evaluation criteria; Relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, and partnership. In addition, the evaluation applied several methodological principles; (i)Validity of information: multiple measures and sources were sought out to ensure that the results were accurate and valid; (ii) Integrity: and (iii) Respect and anonymity: All participants or interviewees right to provide information was kept in confidence and respected.

An evaluation matrix was developed based on the evaluation scope presented in the TOR and the project result based framework. The evaluation matrix was upgraded after reviewing of key project documents. This matrix was structured along the six GEF evaluation criteria. Local government stakeholders and target groups were interviewed using questions adapted for each interview. Moreover, staff of NPA,SOS Sahel, WCS, SL and AfD at project and head office level were interviewed.

Based on the above a draft report was prepared and presented to NPA and its partners for review and discussion. The final report was done following these discussions.

Key findings

The expected outcomes of the program were:

  • Improve capacity of 10 implementing organizations as training institutions.
  • Organize communities to better voice their concerns and interests to authorities regarding the use of natural resources.
  • Organize groups of people to reduce gender-based violence, increase participation of women in socio-economic sectors and decision-making levels.

The main conclusions of the evaluation report included the following considered as most important:

  • There was no evidence of a stakeholder analysis prior to the program development. However, the program design and implementation clearly reflected a positive and constructive relationship between local authorities, the Ethiopian partners and NPA. This has enabled a civil society voice with real tangible results.
  • The program has been evaluated as being highly relevant given the specific Ethiopian challenges and constraints.
  • The program has not been quite successful in terms of generating sustainability for partner projects. Some of the partners will suffer relatively dramatic consequences for some of their NPA supported projects.

The evaluation concluded that the three expected outcomes of the program had the following results:

Outcome 1. Organizational development. Improve training capacity of partners.

  • NPA’s support to the Ethiopian partner organizations’ capacity initiatives has improved the capacity of the partners. This has manifested itself amongst other in the form of improved administrations, improved training results and improved abilities to respond to government and NPA requirements.

Outcome 2.  Organization of voicing concerns and managing natural resources.

  • NPA support has assisted four of the Ethiopian partners to strengthen their voices to defend and manage natural resources and livelihood rights. This has been done by the creation of cooperative structures (currently numbering 265 – with a total membership of 75900). These cooperatives have in turn dialogued and cooperated with local authorities to secure and defend natural resources and livelihood rights.

Outcome 3.  Organize with the objective of reducing gender-based violence and increasing women’s participation in socio-economic sectors and decision-making levels.

  • The evaluation report had a tentative assessment that GBV has been reduced substantially within the institutions targeted (schools etc.). However, outside the institutions GBV is unfortunately increasing. The reporting/investigation/court case resolution has improved within the relevant authority structures (e.g. police).
  • Organization of women in self-help groups/income generating activities and access to loans and corresponding saving has increased remarkably. These groups are increasingly used as platforms for interaction/leadership with local authorities. However, the evaluation report also points out that change processes with regard to gender norms, gender roles and responsibilities need time as they are deeply culturally embedded.


Amongst the most important recommendations were that NPA and back donors should commit to 3-5 years strategic support, with all the inherent advantages for implementation of long term strategic plans for local partners.


Published 11.05.2017
Last updated 11.05.2017