Final Evaluation Report; Project 10766, Kinshasa Fight against Poverty and Prostitution
About the publication
- Published: May 2019
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Alexandre Aleki Banywesize
- Commissioned by: --
- Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Theme: Women and gender equality
- Pages: 38
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Digni/Frelsesarmeen
- Local partner: Salvation Army DRC
- Project number: QZA-18/0159-64-69
The project evaluated has been active since 2010, with the current phase starting in 2014. The long-term goal of the project is to contribute to the prevention and reduction of prostitution, sexual and gender-based violence and discrimination, provide a way out of prostitution for girls and victims of sex trafficking, and improving the living conditions of former prostitutes and their families.
The main purpose of this evaluation was to examine the impact of the project by considering the level of achievement of the purpose and results of the project to establish its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability and document lessons learned.
The evaluators took a participatory approach, including both TSA DRC, project participants and other stakeholders in the collection and analysis of data. Data was collected using desk reviews of relevant project reports and other documents, discussions with the project team, and field visits to conduct interviews and surveys among project participants, representatives of other stakeholders and resource persons in the targeted communities.
Overall, the Project was found to be relevant to its context, both in terms of issues targeted and approach selected.
The vocational training was effective insofar as they generate immediate results, consistent with the objective of the project.
The awareness raising and dialogues conducted in neighboring churches was effective in that it reached a lot of people. However, the actual impact is hard to ascertain due to limited available data.
As for the VSLAs, these were not fully functioning. The participants were still only saving together, and the evaluators had the impression that the project team itself did not fully master the approach.
Concerning gardening, participants produce, consume and sell vegetables. However, the evaluators could not clearly see the part of the project, for lack of data.
Finally, looking at the community workshops, these were clearly less effective than intended.
Overall, cost efficiency of the project approaches was not considered. Nevertheless, the evaluation states that the use of other means, such as Change Leaders, is effective in view of their nature, number and quality of the results generated, in accordance with the objectives pursued.
The overall results are in general obtained logically related to the objective of the Project. The exception is market gardening and community workshops, that derogate from this principle – because their results do not work in accordance with the spirit of the project, and the achievements are not consistent with the objective.
The financial sustainability of the Vocational Center is, at this stage, doubtful. At the current state, as soon as the subsidies will stop, the Vocational Center also cease to exist. This is the same for the community workshops which lies under the same conditions.
In terms of practical sustainability, the income-generating activities undertaken by the participants can persist if they have mastered their management, find a market and manage to retain their customers.
Furthermore, the market gardeners can continue their operations as usual. What can stop them is tenure insecurity, as the land on which they work does not belong to them.
Project achievements currently benefit particularly the direct beneficiaries (level knowledge, practical knowledge and assets), participants in awareness sessions (knowledge level) and gardeners (acquisition of inputs).
Among the immediate communities of the said direct beneficiaries, we can quote with assurance, some families of the former sex workers graduating from vocational training. These honor them by abandoning prostitution and contribute, so slightly, to the budgets of their respective families.
Rec. 1. Program outreach and dialogue sessions at least 4 times per year, every quarter, with the same public for proper understanding and create ownership of the treated themes;
Rec. 2. Ensure reasonable follow-up by a number of well-identified persons using a structured survey to ensure resulting in behavior change.
Rec. 3. The Vocational Center has no official recognition. It will find it
to avoid trouble in the long run;
Rec. 4. Identify training needs and develop a Staff Capacity Building Plan;
Rec. 5. If possible, increase the capacity of the Vocational Center to hold all the young prostitutes made aware. Otherwise, it will have to think of finding alternatives for many young people waiting for training;
Rec. 6. Organize workshops for the production of appropriate educational supports to the training provided and/or acquire them where they can be found;
Rec. 7. Consider upgrading, so slightly, the Vocational Center for a more consistent training and then identify new needs (market studies and project services in the project’s scope) to create other sections;
Rec. 8. Provide the Vocational Center of appropriate pedagogical support for easy assimilation of lessons (books, flip charts, picture boxes, posters, fact sheets, comics, models, manikins, etc.);
Rec. 9. Establish and regularly organize educational meetings to allow the team to become a cohesive group to share the implementation process of the project, the content and the methods and techniques of intervention;
Rec. 10. Produce weekly and in a participatory way the schedule of activities in accordance with the timetable of the Project and fairly distribute tasks between the team members;
Rec. 11. Ensure the monitoring of Change Leaders;
Rec. 12. Provide Terms of Reference and always sign a Contract with any external party to the project for the requested service;
Rec. 13. Strive to collaborate with several institutions from the area working in the same field of intervention, such as the College of the CRAEN, NGOs located a few meters away, the Office of the Health Zone (HZ) of Nsele, Services Population and Community Development office of the district of Nsele etc. for regular exchanges of experiences and useful data.
Rec. 14. Establish a system for follow up and for monitoring and evaluation to ensure the consolidation of the results and their sustainability, and the collection of reliable data on project achievements and beneficiaries;
Rec. 15. The market gardening, chosen as an income generating activity and to fight against malnutrition, should concern parents of young prostitutes and should take place in the project's range of action;
Rec. 16. The capacities of the Assistants will have to be strengthened to a successful implementation of the VSLAs approach;
Rec. 17. Ensure the recycling training of adult training providers (andragogy), in awareness raising, technical support, monitoring and evaluation;
Rec. 18. There is an untimely displacement of the Project Manager at the Vocational Center, and this without handing over. This does not promote mastery of the overall project management. The manager (newcomer) learns from his/her employees what he/she has to do. This decreases, so slightly his/her authority and efficiency;
Rec. 19. Create contracts with Change Leaders while safeguarding the volunteer spirit that characterizes them, and coordinate well their activities related to the mission of the Project;
Rec. 20. The THQ, through the Women and Development office and the Project Officer will conduct periodic monitoring, monthly or quarterly to ensure proper development of the Project and correct possible flaws at the right time.
Comments from the Frelsesarmeen
While the evaluation of 10766 Kinshasa Fight Against Poverty and Prostitution has been useful in that it uncovered challenges and deviations related to some of the project components; from conversations with project stakeholders, implementers and project participants, it is our impression that the consultants have been overly and perhaps unnecessarily critical in some cases. This is particularly so when it comes to generalized comments about the weaknesses of the monitoring of project activities and gathering of data for reporting and evaluation purposes. While this was somewhat basic, and to a large degree based on testimonies of project participants rather than structured surveys – to seemingly disregard that as relevant data seems overboard. Also, looking at the gardening component, while there is a lack of “hard data” to document impact, testimonies from gardeners do suggest an increase in produce among participants – though this may be as much a result of inputs and larger areas used for cultivation, as of the training provided.
Challenges identified with regards to the VSLAs and the community workshops seem accurate, however, and are noted. While, since the evaluation, the project has been phased out – and is no longer supported by TSA NOR – these findings will be taken into consideration and used to improve the work of TSA DRC. The seeming lack of close monitoring by THQ in Kinshasa and other issues related to the management of the project have also been noted, and has been followed up on.
Furthermore, it is important for us to point out that when looking at the total cost of the project against the 310 former sex workers provided with vocational training (as seamstresses and beauticians) – the project has achieved a success rate (meaning percentage of girls raising income to stay out of prostitution after training) of 73,5% at a cost of only 2572 USD per participant. If you exclude the cost of support activities such as awareness raising, gardening and VSLAs, the real costs of only training and start-up support per participant would be even lower. This means that for its main component, the project results were slightly above the set target, which should be considered a major achievement.
Comments from Digni
The conducted evaluation holds a satisfactory standard and has been carried out in line with the agreed Terms of reference, applying appropriate methodology and presenting a structured overview of findings and results. While the project has been of significant importance to the direct beneficiaries, the project has recorded limited results at outcome level or higher. According to the evaluation report 2019, this relates to lack of close and regular project monitoring and follow-up to ensure proper implementation, guidance and technical support to the project team. In addition, the project has suffered from lack of continuity in project management leadership. This has in turn negatively influenced the projects impact opportunity.