Impact Evaluation Equality Myanmar
About the publication
- Published: January 2020
- Series: --
- Type: NGO reviews
- Carried out by: Inya Economics
- Commissioned by: --
- Country: Myanmar
- Theme: Civil society, Governance and democracy
- Pages: 50
- Serial number: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organization: Digni/Stefanusalliansen
- Local partner: Equality Myanmar
- Project number: QZA-18/0159-525-526
Equality Myanmar (EQMM) envisions a peaceful, tolerant and democratic society built on respect for dignity and human rights for all in Myanmar.
EQMM was founded in 2000 with the goal of empowering the people of Myanmar through human rights education to engage in social transformation and promote a culture of human rights.
A Human Rights Education organization in essence, it has also played a central role in coordinating a wider range of advocacy campaigns over the years to raise awareness about the human rights situation at local, national and international levels.
The organization produces a range of human rights educational materials, other multimedia resources and human rights information available in Burmese and ethnic languages.
The overall objective of the evaluation was to measure the program’s effect on target beneficiaries and document proof of attributable outcomes and impact. In addition, the evaluator should assess the degree and level of empowerment using the Digni Empowerment Assessment Tool (EAT).
The evaluation applied quasi-methods approach, quantitative and qualitative data collection (FGD’s, KII’s) and analysis on various aspects of project impacts on human rights education, protection and advocacy in the targeted project areas.
- The project was successful in increasing human rights knowledge in the project areas. Human rights education through TV and film clips were found to be an effective means of awareness raising for the general public. Printed education material with illustrations were particularly good for participants with low educational background and for children in the community. Participants from basic human rights trainings voluntarily shared new knowledge amongst family, friends, and colleagues – or by giving trainings or posting on Facebook.
- The Training of the Trainer (TOT) workshop empowered participants to conduct basic human rights trainings in their community and organize awareness raising events. Some participants used their new advocacy skills to challenge human rights violations, acting as a bridge between their local communities and relevant authorities. Actions included dialogue with politicians, ethnic armed groups and Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) and filing complaint letters to relevant authorities.
- After the training, many TOT alumni applied their human rights knowledge and advocacy skills to their daily work. For instance, ToT alumni successfully helped advance worker’s rights at a garment factory by advocating for minimum wages and founding a trade union.
- The TOT recruitment policy helped increase tolerance amongst participants. Exposure to people from different backgrounds (ethnic and religious minorities, LGBT and disabled persons) helped participants understand the relevance of human rights concepts in their daily lives. Some participants reported that they personally stopped discriminating people from different faiths, particularly Muslims, as a result of the training.
- The month-long TOT give participants a chance to broaden their network through which they can work together in the long run. Maintaining the Human Rights Educators Network (HREN) is key to human rights movement and collective actions in the community and society. However, issues around finances and sustainability needs to be addressed.
- Through the project period, EQMM successfully engaged in national and international advocacy for the advancement of human rights in Myanmar
- In a joint action, EQMM successfully mobilized 6000 signatories for Myanmar’s ratification of the ICCPR. Awareness raising activities has led to political support from MPs who have issued a proposal in the national parliament. EQMM have received positive signals that the government is likely to sign and ratify the ICCPR in the near future.
o In a joint effort with 5 local organizations, EQMM pressured Facebook to take responsibility for the spread of hate speech on its platform in Myanmar. It resulted in Mark Zuckerberg testifying before the American Congress, promising to hire more Burmese-speaking moderators and FB’s closer collaboration with local civil society.
- After meeting with the Minister of Information, EQMM was granted permission to broadcast one of its human rights educational videos on a state-run broadcasting channel, MRTV4. Not only did this benefit exposure but it was a political win in that human rights (as well as collaboration with CSOs) used to be completely banned from public outlets during the military regime.
- During the project period, EQMM has successfully lobbied for law revisions in the Child Law, Telecommunications Law 66(d) and the draft Citizens Privacy and Security Protection Law. After engaging MP’s in trainings and a series of advocacy meetings, the Child Law was amended to set the minimum marriage age to 18 for both males and females, corporal punishment on children is prohibited and it protects children in armed conflict.
- Scale up and amend existing activities, such as ToT trainings, HR training/talks, capacity building for government officials and MP’s. Public billboards, advertisement and educational videos in state-owned channels are a good way of raising public awareness. It is suggested to focus on context-specific human rights violations more than general concepts.
- Translate important UN conventions and ASEAN documents from English to the major ethnic languages.
- In order to see the measurable program results and outcome, it is strongly recommended to have the monitoring and evaluation mechanism and follow-up action plan for every successive training.
- Focus not only on human rights education, but also documentation of human rights violations and in-house research for advocacy purposes. Offer legal aid to local communities and coordinate complaint letters to relevant authorities.
- Strengthen existing human rights networks through technical and financial support for joint advocacy efforts and tackling of human rights cases.
- Partner with academic institutions on human rights research and education. Include Human Rights education in the primary school curriculum so that young children may learn human rights concepts.
Comments from the organisation
Although relevant results and analyses were presented in the report, the evaluation team did not directly address the research questions from the TOR. The results are not presented systematically according to impact level, and sometimes have a weak evidence base.