Mid Term Review. Projects Under the Norad Agreement 2016-2019.
About the publication
- Published: August 2018
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Nguyen Thi Thu Que, Tran Le Tra, and Le Van
- Commissioned by: --
- Country: Vietnam
- Theme: Human rights, Children, Education and research
- Pages: 67
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Plan International Norge
- Local partner: Plan International Vietnam
- Project number: GLO 0742 QZA-15/0442
The Mid Term Review was commissioned by Plan Norway to review status of the Norad funded program.
This review includes three projects implemented in Vietnam; all within Plan Norway’s 2016-2019 Norad Cooperation Agreement:
- Safe School
- Ending Child Marriage
- Value Chain.
The value chain project was added in 2017 to provide economic opportunities to fight poverty, a core driver for CEFM. The projects are implemented in Vietnam’s central highlands as well as in the northern parts of the country.
The Mid-Term Review (MTR) assessed the degree to which planned outcomes around the four projects are on course to achieve the targeted results. The key objectives of the MTR was to assess the projects for the following: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, project management and sustainability. The MTR also assessed the project’s performance on cross cutting issues; gender equality, disability inclusion, unexpected results, added value and participation.
The main purpose of the evaluation is learning: To identify strengths and weaknesses in the project in order to guide the project towards improvement during the current implementing period 2016-2019, and for planning of future interventions by Plan in Vietnam. The project also assesses project achievements, effectiveness and efficiency.
The mid-term review is a combination of external evaluation and a facilitated self-reflection process where project staffs and key implementing partners are guided to discuss and review the current approaches, methodologies and management structure. Desk review, group discussions, in-depth interview and interviews with questionnaires were the main data collection methods used. These tools were used selectively for different groups of respondents, who are implementing partners and direct beneficiaries of the project. In total, 255 people were met and interviewed,
The review report assesses the program as “highly satisfactory” (p. 50). With an exception of Effectiveness being ranked “b”, other criteria, including Relevance, Efficiency and Sustainability are ranked “a”. The report points to the following success factors:
- Careful situation analysis that well informs the planning process.
- Participatory approach throughout the project management cycle ensures consensus and strong support from implementing partners and beneficiaries.
- Dedication of well-trained Plan Vietnam staff, in particular at community level, who amongst others provide coaching to implementing partners.
- Plan design projects in the same location in a mutually supportive way so that one project can enjoy the results of the other and thus maximise the project’s effectiveness and results with minimum costs. Norad-funded projects are highly sustainable in technical aspect and political commitment. Financial sustainability of the projects remains uncertain.
The reports points to limitations that need to be considered for improvement in the future:
- The selection of project sites is not ideal to achieve synergies between Norad projects.
- There is a need to invest more time and effort on monitoring and reporting. By the time of mid-term review, there are still missing data in the M&E framework.
- There are few documented self-learning lessons and consolidation of best practice.
- Although trying to differentiate itself with other existing interventions for ending child marriage in Vietnam (which are considered as single-sided focusing mainly on propaganda and communication), the Ending Child Marriage project itself has not been as comprehensive as designed.
- Connection with other (I)NGOs and CSOs in the project area remains limited.
- The project teams, especially the Ending Child Marriage and Value Chain team, should invest greater effort in M&E and ensure timely data collection for the purposes of self-reflection and planning for the next year.
- Increased networking and cooperation with organizations that are working in similar thematic areas and have similar objectives.
- Project cycle management approach of Plan in Vietnam has proven to be very effective. It is advisable that such good practice is documented and shared with other fellow (I)NGOs and donors.
- The Safe school project is a typical example of projects where the wish list of support is almost identical to the list of actual support provided. Recommendations include i) extending the project support to communities and schools far from the commune centers; and ii) increasing the number of people who receive technical training from PiV. Training to core groups of students (safe schools clubs) must be continuous to ensure the knowledge line is not broken once members of the core groups graduate from schools.
- The Ending Child Marriage project should keep up good effort on advocacy and networking at national level on child protection /child marriage. One of the issues prioritized for advocacy would be support the enforcement of current regulations on child marriage including cooperation with with other Vietnam based child focused organizations. Further, education, behavior change communication, vocational education, providing alternatives, job opportunities and livelihood support should be strengthened to reduce child marriage in a voluntary manner.
- For the Value Chain project, of the three identified chains/products identified, goat breeding and chicken have good potential to be developed into a real value chain. The project may consider finding new alternative for saffron, which is facing great competition. Due to late start, goat breeding and chicken are now actually at the stage of production support. It is advisable that more effort is given to change the behavior of local people, who have been dependent almost totally on buyers/traders from outside. Selling products directly to consumers would increase income for households on the one hand, and provide them with market orientation (for other products) on the other hand.
- Further details and recommendations are available in the full report.
Comments from the organisation
Findings and recommendations of this mid-term review is helpful to draw lessons for improvement during the project implementation. The recommendations will inform the final year of implementation of the Norad projects. Norad projects in Vietnam will be phased out by Plan Norway after end of 2019. However, the recommendations are relevant to Plan in Vietnam projects funded by other donors.