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Evaluation report

2002 Iran: Assessment of Affectivity of Life Skills' Training Project Among Women & Children



Author: Poroushani, P.; Bazar Negar Co.

Executive summary

Background

Less than two years ago, UNICEF office in Tehran, in conjunction with the Literacy Movement Organization (LMO) and DfID, started a project to train women and young girls of Iranian and Afghan origins in different aspects of life skills. After a year into the project, the UNICEF office decided to study the affectivity of the project on its participants in order to determine its strengths and weaknesses and to make the necessary improvements and adjustments.

Purpose / Objective

- Evaluate the effects of training on the knowledge of the students and instructors
- Evaluate the effects of training on the behavior and actions of the students and how they use them in their daily life
- Quality evaluation of the educational output of the instructors and tutors from their own viewpoint and the students'
- Evaluate the effectiveness and benefits of the educational contents
- Determine the shortages, weaknesses and strengths of the educational contents
- Determine the requirements and the interest of the students in regards to the educational contents from their own viewpoint and instructors'

Methodology

This was a qualitative study using focus groups (FGD). Three out of five provinces in which the project is being conducted were selected for this study: Tehran, Kerman, and Balouchistan. These provinces represent different degrees of deprivation, with Tehran being the least deprived, and Balouchistan the most deprived province. Three focus groups were conducted in each province (two groups with trainees and one group with trainers). Each group was made up of 7 to 12 respondents, and discussions lasted 3 hours.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The evaluation found that the life of some of the Afghans, especially young girls, has changed and are transformed due to these trainings. Some announced results include: regaining hope for life, creating goals and beginning a path towards achieving them, voicing opinions about choosing spouses and preventing the marriage of the young with older people. The parallel literacy project has opened a new window for these people and the life skills' education has increased the effects. It is the mutual effect and the combination of these two aspects that has given fruitful results. Life skills' education has also had a positive effect in the personal and professional lives of the instructors.

Cultural differences and differences in the level of deprivation in the regions has had considerable effects on the level of understanding, transference of knowledge, and the recall and usage of the materials by the students. With regards to recalling the contents of more complicated issues (goals and self recognition), limited results are seen in the more deprived regions (Zahedan); while in the same region, good results are found with regards to daily and common issues such as health, violence and communication.

The differences in culture were obvious not only among the students but also among the instructors. If the instructors are local and their cultures are close to that of the students -- while it has had positive effects in being accepted by the students, it drops the training quality.

The children and youth evaluated "Aims", "Self recognition" and "Violence" and the women students evaluated "health" and "relations" as the most attractive and effective topics. Differences in suggestions of topics reflect differences in cultural level, age and poverty (region). The new topics - such as marriage, social relation traditions, body and spirit hygiene, social/racial/tribal/religious differences, and equality of rights, becoming familiar with daily economic, political and social matters of the society - were suggested to be added to the guidebook of life skills' training.

Among training methods, plays were the most popular and using "wall newspapers" was the most common.

Recommendations

- Provide more resources of information for increasing the knowledge of the instructors (Libraries, seminars, conferences, etc.)
- Emphasize the "Don'ts" in the educational guide. Most dangers stem from the lack of comprehension of some of the instructors of participatory teaching styles and their return to traditional methods of education such as using notebooks, homework, grades, evaluation, comparison, etc.
- Re-educate the instructors, especially in the more deprived regions
- Increase the variety of training topics
- Create a network among the instructors for sharing and exchanging experiences and information
- Create a way for teachers to consult and ask advice for solving problems, especially problems dealing with training methods
- Acquaint the instructors with the culture and traditions of the Afghans before the start of the classes
- More flexibility in regards to the timings of literacy and life skill classes, especially for women
- Simplify the guidebook of life skills' training through pictures and images; give more examples about more complicated topics such as "Self recognition"
- Give priority to training topics based on the needs, local conditions and the culture of the region



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Report information

Date:
2002

Region:
MENA

Country:
Iran

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Health - Other

Partners:
Literacy Movement Organization, DfID

PIDB:

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
2002/013

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