Review for Economic Empowerment Project in Gaza
- Utgitt: november 2020
- Serie: --
- Type: Gjennomganger fra organisasjoner
- Utført av: RAI Consult
- Bestilt av: --
- Land: Palestina
- Tema: Sivilt samfunn
- Antall sider: 48
- Serienummer: --
- ISBN: --
- ISSN: --
- Organisasjon: Norwegian Church Aid/Kirkens Nødhjelp
DanChurchAid-Norwegian Church AID (DCA-NCA)) joint country program (JCP) is a five years program (from 2016-2020) and it is extended to 2021. Based on the current evaluation of the JCP in 2020, a second phase of the
Joint country program will be identified, taking into consideration its findings and recommendations. Both DCA and NCA global strategies focus on Building resilient communities and Climate smart Economic empowerment and aim at improving employment and livelihood opportunities of Palestinian youth, women, and marginalized communities.
Through Norwegian Aid for Development Cooperation (NORAD) fund, DCA-NCA have been engaged in employment generation opportunities in Gaza Strip through local partners. Together, they have worked to support the creation of income-generating opportunities for young people.
The program supported a wide range of activities varying from micro-enterprise and business development by Palestinian Businesswoman’s Association –(ASALA), ICT and freelancing program by Women Affair Center (WAC) and enhancing entrepreneurship and innovation focusing on agribusinesses, supporting new technologies and ideas to address market constraints by MA’AN development Center (MA’AN).
This review assesses the activities (interventions of 2018-2020) conducted under the project using the six OECD-DAC criteria: (relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, and impact), in addition to other cross-cutting issues like gender. It also aims to deduce the lessons learned and the best practices to put forward recommendations for sustainable development and better performance.
The main findings of evaluation include
Project Relevance: The available revised documents of the DCA/NCA project and the interviews confirm that the project strongly satisfies the priorities of different stakeholders in addition to other national and international plans, namely the National Policy Agenda (NPA) of 2017-2022, strategic plan of Ministry of Labor (MOL) and Sustainable Development Goals SDG. Moreover, the interventions matched the beneficiaries' needs in terms of training topics, incubation, and supporting funds.
Regarding the relevance of the project to the partners’ goals and scope of work: The intervention of DCA/NCA was in line with the mandates of the partners (MA’AN, WAC and ASALA), as all of them provide support and empowerment for the youth and women. ASALA adopted the conditional grant model for the first time in this project, the project closely matched MA’AN scope of work, and the intervention matched WAC vision and it was the first chance for WAC to enter the ICT sector.
Project Coherence: The synergies among partners activities are specifically noted in the various constitutive documents (concept note and logical framework), but it is absent from the regular narrative reports which present the outputs one after the other because each component of the project is assigned for one partner/ self-standing. However, the evaluation team identified some existing synergies or areas of potential synergies for example at the beginning of the project (in 2018), there was a synergy between WAC and ASALA, where ASALA provided training in business management for beneficiaries from the ICT sector and provided a grant while WAC was responsible for coaching and follow up.
Project Effectiveness: The project elements are developed in a structured way to ensure linkages among them (overall objective, intermediate outcomes, outputs, and activities), as well as each partner has achieved its planned targets and MA’AN exceeded the planned target of its objective. All the project partners have a clear complaints system. MA’AN and WAC built their approach considering the market and beneficiaries' needs. ASALA beneficiaries reported that the allocated fund for each project is limited. The delivered training through the different project phases were effective as reported by the beneficiaries of all project partners. Moreover, the project was cost effective.
Project Efficiency: The project's activities were implemented and the outputs were delivered within the planned timeframe, no major delays were recorded. In the project planning phase, each partner prepared their own proposal, so the real meaning of partnership was missed in 2018 and 2019, but in 2020 all partners have worked together and submitted jointly one proposal.
The project teams of the partners are qualified and have a good level of experience. Each partner built the selection criteria of beneficiaries based on the target group and received requests, but in general MAAN and WAC used well-defined selection criteria for the beneficiaries. MA’AN and WAC established good level of coordination and relationships with the private sector and universities. WAC and MA’AN have a large commitment towards the beneficiaries and the service provision duration is not limited to the project duration.
Considering the achieved benefits and impacts on the targeted groups, the cost of project’ interventions was efficient, reasonable, and justified. All the project partners held several meetings with the project stakeholders in order to explain and clarify the overall objective and activities.
Project Impact: The project has positive impacts at the partners and beneficiaries’ level. Firstly, at the partners’ level the following impacts were recorded; the project developed the capacity of partners (MAAN, WAC, and ASALA) in different areas such as (youth-led interventions, partnership management, project management, networking and coordination), and enhanced the partners’ experience in building institutional partnerships, developing innovative start-ups (MAAN), equipping the freelancers (WAC), and improving the knowledge level on green technologies (MAAN).
Secondly, at the beneficiaries’ level it improved the economic condition of the targeted beneficiaries especially WAC beneficiaries where they can earn a good level of income from freelancing work, the trainees acquired new skills that made them more qualified to enter the local markets and to be self-employed. MA’AN and ASALA beneficiaries’ through their implemented startups helped to secure job opportunities for other persons.
On the long-term, it is expected that the project beneficiaries will expand and develop their projects in terms of size, market targeting, income and the number of workers. The freelancers are expected to be more qualified. Their entrepreneurship mind-set is expected to be highly improved, which will enable them to establish their projects and provide job opportunities for other individuals. This will improve the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.
Project Sustainability: The project promoted the capacity of the project partners and enhanced their roles in the targeted communities, and the qualified team members of the partners are expected to continue providing services to other beneficiaries after the project closure. MA’AN hub is expected to play more active role in the innovation ecosystem, mainly in market-system-based initiatives and agribusiness innovative ideas.
On the other hand, the sustainability among the beneficiaries; the targeted groups acquired the needed skills, especially the freelancers, which made them more qualified to secure income and to create a strong online freelance profile, the projects that were supported by ASALA are promising to generate revenues for their owners, MA’AN and WAC have a large commitment towards the beneficiaries and the service provision duration is not limited to the project duration. Moreover, they maintained good relationships with academic institutions and the private sector in the Gaza strip and works on expanding the pool of connection and networking. These networks serve as supporting backbone to the hub and beneficiaries.
In conclusion, the overall evaluation is satisfactory for all evaluation (DAC-OECD) criteria except the coherence which was partially satisfactory.
The key lessons learned, and best practices included
- Dissemination and commercialization of the concept of partnership concept and inviting several partners to participate in the project implementation is valuable, but on the other hand the pros and cons should be assessed to keep the efficiency satisfactory.
- Link the project components to the national needs; youth empowerment makes the project valuable and has tangible impacts at the short-term and long-term,
- Build the entrepreneurship mind-set was necessary to keep the youth on the track, to enhance their capacities as well as deepen their thinking on how to generate ideas and develop their own business as a future potentiality,
- The use of social media was effective in calling the applicants, but it was better if there was one unified call and a pool of beneficiaries to enhance the joint work and coordination and build the flexibility in the planning and budgeting and being prepared to act, learn and adapt based on findings of the monitoring and the beneficiary feedback.