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Evaluation report

2009 Nepal: Evaluation of the Partnership for Quality Education through Parental Participation (January – May 2009)



Author: Pant, Yagya Raj; Guragain, Binod Kumar; Upadhyay, Uttam; Lekhak, Hem Raj; Shrestha, Ram Pyari; Karki, Uddhav; Thapa, Resham; Lohani, Jeevan Raj

Executive summary

 

“With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Almost Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.”

Background

World Education, in partnership and with financial support of UNICEF and in coordination with DOE, has implemented various interventions targeted at improving the quality of primary education since 2003. The program has reached its fifth year and the partners decided that an independent evaluation was needed. An independent team of experts from Research Inputs and Development Action (RIDA) carried out external evaluation of the interventions. This is the evaluation study report.

Purpose/Objectives

The major purpose of the evaluation was to assess the overall effectiveness of the program and to make recommendations for future activities. The specific objectives were to:
• Assess efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of the program
• Evaluate the partnership approach together with assessment of program implementation arrangements including management, planning and decision making
• Identify and document the lessons learned

Methodology

This evaluation study was carried out within a period of four months. It is based on the field visits including review of the available literature, consultation meetings and interviews with key individuals involved in the program.

Findings

The strengths of the program included (i) interventions highly relevant to national educational goals, (ii) interventions are complementary to Government efforts, (iii) strong technical backstopping by WE, (iv) continuous financial support of UNICEF, and (v) implementation of the program in 32 districts. Though the program lacked specific targets, the overall achievements were (i) adaptation of some program interventions by GON under its regular programs, (ii) development and distribution of QERP along with tin trunk libraries, (iii) sensitization on the need to focus on improvement achievement in Grade -1, and (iv) sensitization and capacity building at all levels. The gaps observed during implementation are: (i) difference in understanding between the partners, (ii) interventions implemented only in selected schools of selected districts, (iii) shifts in the priorities and discontinuation of the efforts before cycle completion, (iv) ambiguous objectives which are not extensively measureable, (v) weak monitoring and documentation, (vi) unclear division of roles/responsibilities at the field level, and (vii) uniform interventions in all schools (i.e. schools having active teachers and stakeholders and fulfilling minimum standards are able to use the QERP while the weak performing or needy schools are not able to do so, since the interventions are uniform to all schools).

Conclusion

All of the components within the Quality Education Partnership (QEP) are highly relevant. The program is efficient except for radio support, if we consider the difficult situation of the country during the time of program implementation. Similarly, the interventions can all be considered partially effective as some schools (with active school stakeholders) are able to bring changes in school whereas others could not use the inputs as expected. Based on the assessment of relevance, efficiency and effectiveness, this evaluation study rates the overall QEP partnership as successful.

Lessons Learned

The lessons learned are as follows:
• The tin trunk materials (including QERP) have higher chances of being well used in the schools receiving enough orientation, forward looking HT and committed teachers.
• The school level interventions (like distribution of tin trunk libraries and QERP) can only be effective if followed up with strong reinforcement, monitoring and follow up mechanisms.
• Uniform inputs for schools with different characteristics (different social economic characteristics, different level of HT, SMC and PTA activeness, different teacher motivation level) results into diverse impacts.
• The tripartite agreement or common understanding document between three partners, with clarity in roles and responsibilities about planning, budgeting and monitoring, can be instrumental in implementing the program and measuring the outcomes effectively.
• The activities carried out at school level with active participation of SMC, PTA, parents and communities like WTS can be effective, cost efficient and sustainable. Such programs also have higher chances to be adopted by government.

Recommendations

The recommendations for future actions are as follows:

Use of Quality Education Resource Package and School Libraries
1. Organize reinforcement program for tin trunk libraries and QERP use with diverse modalities through activation of Resource Centers.
2. Integrate and refer to QERP contents and materials in various other regular trainings and activities of DOE and UNICEF to increase the volume of use.
3. Make arrangements for distribution of tin trunk libraries and QERP to other districts by (i) exploring the additional resources (by DOE and WE), (ii) reprinting the materials, and (iv) making procurement arrangements.

Continuity
4. Continue the program by (i) arranging the activities into a logical sequence, (ii) identifying the progress indicators and fixing the targets annually, (iii) developing built in monitoring mechanism with district and central level review arrangements, and (iv) ensuring enough support from DEO officials (with some form of planning and agreement at the field level).

Co-ordination and Management
5. Avoid any overlap in the activities implemented by the partners and introduce new program with common understandings.
6. Design and implement programs targeting improvement of internal efficiency
7. Work on capacity building of RCs and mobilize RPs to ensure the need based and optimum use of modules by schools

Replication
8. Integrate the successful pilot programs like student tracking initiatives in national system together with updating of the modules incorporating successful practices of other partners.

 

 

“With the aim to continuously improve transparency and use of evaluation, UNICEF Evaluation Office manages the "Global Evaluation Reports Oversight System". Within this system, an external independent company reviews and rates all evaluation reports. Please ensure that you check the quality of this evaluation report, whether it is “Outstanding”, “Good”, “Almost Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” before using it. You will find the link to the quality rating below, labelled as ‘Part 2’ of the report.”



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