Evaluation of SAIH’s Support for FADCANIC’s Wawashang Environmental and Agroforestry Educational Centre

Om publikasjonen

  • Utgitt: 2009
  • Serie: --
  • Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
  • Utført av: Axel Borchgrevink (NUPI)
  • Bestilt av: Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH)
  • Land: Nicaragua
  • Tema: Utdanning og forskning
  • Antall sider: --
  • Serienummer: --
  • ISBN: --
  • ISSN: --
  • Organisasjon: Norwegian Students and Academics International Assistance Fund (SAIH)
  • Lokal partner: FADCANIC
  • Prosjektnummer: GLO-0731 – GLO 08/379, with subnumber GLO-08/379-12
NB! Publikasjonen er KUN tilgjengelig elektronisk og kan ikke bestilles på papir


The Fundación para la Autonomía y el Desarrollo de la Costa Atlántica de Nicaragua (FADCANIC) has established and is running the Environmental and Agroforestry Education Centre (CEAA) at Wawashang, in Nicaragua's South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS). This activity has been fully funded by the Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund (SAIH) since the start in 2004. FADCANIC and SAIH agreed to have an evaluation of the first phase of this program (2004-2008) in early 2009, in order to assess progress and come up with recommendations for the second program phase (2009-12).
In line with the terms of reference created by SAIH and FADCANIC, the evaluator was asked to look at the relevance of the project, the efficiency and effectiveness of the implementation of the program, its impacts, and issues of sustainability. Moreover, particular attention was paid to the dimensions of gender and interculturality. In addition, the synergy and coordination with the activities of authorities and other actors were assessed, as well as the added value of SAIH in the project process.
The evaluator has carried out its work according to the qualitative methodology i.e. documental study, individual and group interviews and direct participatory observation.
Key findings:
FADCANIC's creation of the Wawashang Environmental and Agroforestry Educational Centre is a highly relevant intervention for addressing a number of dimensions of the complex situation in the RAAS. It improves the educational situation of the region, offers concrete skills of direct use to its graduates, may help resolve some of the difficulties faced by the region's small farmers, and may contribute to reducing deforestation through the introduction of more environmentally sustainable agroforestry techniques. This latter impact, however, will only be achieved in conjunction with other interventions. FADCANIC's agroforestry project is an important element in this context. Moreover, by bringing together students from all ethnic groups, the project should also be of relevance for the development of a truly intercultural Atlantic Coast.
In terms of outputs, the project has largely been successful in achieving the immediate project goals. The necessary school infrastructure has been established, and a well-organized system for running the school has been put in place. Furthermore, FADCANIC has been successful in developing an innovative educational model based on learning by doing and combining theoretical and practical subjects and ways of teaching. The close cooperation with FADCANIC's Agroforestry Project means that significant synergies are achieved. Furthermore, the School has been successful in attracting a mix of students from all ethnicities, and has been able to produce two graduated classes on time, even if they are somewhat reduced compared to the original optimistic plans. Finally, the School has achieved general recognition, and is highly respected for its achievements, relevance and quality by government institutions of the educational sector.
When it comes to impacts at the individual level, the project has been successful in empowering the students in many ways. They have acquired a substantial amount of practical and technical knowledge that is directly applicable in farm work and different types of employment. To prove this, they have received the diploma of Técnico Básico Rural, and a significant proportion of the graduated students have found relevant employment. Alongside the practical knowledge, students have also acquired a solid academic base that compares well with students from ordinary schools. Moreover, they have acquired strong environmentalist attitudes, as well as a facility for presenting and explaining agroforestry techniques, thus enabling them to become change agents for the region. Finally, they have experienced living and working together with people from other ethnic groups, which has given them new intercultural skills.
It is still too early to see substantial impacts at higher levels. There are examples of new farming techniques being adopted in the communities because of the work of the students, but such impacts are still quite weak. This, however, is natural given the short history of the school and the large time scale necessary for such processes to take hold. Nevertheless, there is every reason to expect that in the long term, the School will have an impact on production methods in the villages. At the regional level, there has been an impact in terms of improving the situation of secondary education, particularly with respect to technical education. It also seems highly likely that this will reduce the out-migration of the region's trained people. When it comes to halting deforestation and changing the model of natural resource exploitation at the regional level, this is again something that will need a longer time scale.
The project must be considered highly sustainable in the environmental and institutional dimensions. Over-all economic sustainability however cannot and should not be an objective. The School will continue to be dependent on outside funding. In the long run, the only realistic option is for this to come from the state. There are, however, dangers that an increased state influence over the running of the School may lead to the deterioration of the quality of the services provided.

1. FADCANIC should work to bring down the number of dropouts, in particular during the first school year.
2. FADCANIC should continue its work to raise the number of female students. Promotional work in the communities to raise the overall number of applications should be a prioritized strategy.
3. FADCANIC should seek to improve the quality of teaching even further.
4. FADCANIC should continue to strive for self-sufficiency in food production.
5. If possible within the overall budget constraints, FADCANIC should seek to carry out its plans of expanding the School to also offer the 4th and eventually the 5th year of the secondary education cycle.
6. FADCANIC should seek to position the School so that the likelihood increases of the state assuming some of the costs in the future.
7. FADCANIC should continuously strive to deepen the cooperation between the School and the Agroforestry Project.
8. FADCANIC should continue keeping track on what its graduates are doing, to monitor the impacts of the program.
Comments from the organisation, if any:

Publisert 28.08.2009
Sist oppdatert 16.02.2015