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Evaluation report

2011 Somalia: Impact Evaluation of the Community Education Committee (CEC) Mobiliser Programme in Somaliland, Puntland and South/Central Somalia



Author: Jeffrey Tines

Executive summary

 

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Background:

In 2006 the Strategic Parntership for the Recovery and Development of Education in Somalia was established with the goal of assisting the Educational Authorities in Somalia to accelerate progress towards the education and gender targets of the Milennium Development Goals, through a specific focus on supporting access to quality basic education for all Somali children. This partnership is funded by the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) which committed USD 12 million to the establishment of a multi-year funding mechanism . The focus of the Strategic Partnership has been on the development of human capacity and systems to support and expand access to quality basic education.

Through the Strategic Partnership, UNICEF and UNESCO have collaborated with the two Ministries of Education responsible for each region in Somaliland and Puntland and Education Umbrellas in South Central Somalia in order to build institutional capacity and promote access to quality education for all children in Somalia. In South/Central Somalia the Ministry of Education from the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was not engaged but rather local authorities and non-governmental organizations became the key partners of the Strategic Partnership. Both UNICEF and UNESCO have supported a wide range of implementing partners including a large network of Community Education Committees (CECs) in all regions, Ministries of Education and a host of local NGOs and international NGOs as well as Regional Education Umbrellas in Central and Southern Somalia. In addition to supporting the implementing partners, UNICEF has been the chair of the Nairobi-based Education Sector Committee (ESC), the co-chair of both the Somaliland-based and Puntland-based ESC and a co-lead of the Education Cluster. These bodies have played a key role in the enhancement of coordination between donors, UN agencies and local and international NGOs working in the education sector.

One of the key outputs of the Strategic Partnership has been the capacity strengthening of the Community Education Committees (CECs) in order to manage and deliver education. UNICEF has supported the Ministry-led Mobilisers’ Programmes since its inception in 2004 in Somaliland and Puntland. In Central and Southern Somalia, Regional Education Umbrellas work through local organizations to support teachers and CECs in a similar way. In 2010, the number of CEC members (920 CECs) had reached 6,500 in the three regions, supporting 158,000 school children of which 55,500 were girls. CECs are able to contribute to improvements in school management, preparation of school plans, teacher recruitment, monitoring of attendance as well as resource mobilization. CECs are supported by CEC Mobilisers. CEC Mobilisers are community-based workers who provide capacity building mentoring and related support services to CECs so that they become better equipped to manage and support local schools.

Purpose/Objective:

The purpose of this evaluation was to conduct an assessment of the Community Education Committee (CEC) Mobiliser Programme across three regions of Somalia in order to determine the programme’s impact by focusing on whether the capacity of local CECs has been strengthened to manage and support schools in the delivery of educational services

1. Evaluate the CEC Mobiliser Programme using the evaluation criteria of relevance, effectiveness/efficiency, impact, sustainability/capacity, coverage and coherence, and lessons learnt.
2. Identify the benefits and challenges of supporting the CEC Mobiliser Programme as a means of improving the capacity of CECs in the three regions.
3. Identify the broader impacts of the CEC Mobiliser Programme.
4. Report on the key lessons learnt and provide recommendations for future action.

Methodology:

The consultant’s evaluation methodology focused on gathering evidence-based qualitative and quantitative data, both from the field and from sources such as reports and other documents provided by UNICEF, Ministries of Education, Regional Education Umbrellas and non-governmental organizations. The evaluation methodology consisted of four kinds of data collection procedures: (1) in-depth, one-on-one key informant interviews; (2) group key informant interviews; (3) focus groups discussions; and (4) secondary data.

Findings and Conclusions:

• The CEC Mobiliser approach contributes positively to the improvement of the capacity of CECs and as well as to increased school enrolment and a better quality of education through improved school management.
• The CEC Mobiliser Programme has had the greatest impact at the community level. CECs have developed an enhanced capacity to manage the schools in their communities and communities have assumed a greater sense of ownership of the school and recognition of the value of education.
• Across the three regions two to three of the seven CEC members were females. CEC members stated that female representation in the CECs contributed positively to an increase in female enrolment at the school level.


• During the period from academic year 2006-2007 to 2010 female school enrolment only significantly increased across all schools in the South/Central Somalia. Female school enrolment in schools that participated in the CEC Mobilised Programme is not significantly different than female school enrolment for all schools in the three regions.
• It was a very good decision to include the MoEs of Somaliland and Puntland and Regional Education Umbrellas in South Central Somalia as equal partners in the programme planning and implementation phases of the CEC Mobiliser Programme from the very beginning, unfortunately not enough capacity has been built in the MoEs and the Regional Education Umbrellas to sustain the CEC Programme in the future without future assistance.

Benefits/Achievements

• All of the key stakeholders from the MoEs in Puntland and Somaliland to the Regional Education Umbrellas in South/Central Somalia to Mobilisers and parents at the community level across the three regions recognize the important role that the CECs play in the management of schools and strongly support the strengthening of local CECs through CEC Mobiliser interventions.
• A community-based, practical, “hands-on” approach to capacity building of CECs proved to be an effective means by which to assist CECs in developing their capacity to manage and support schools.
• CEC Mobilisers and CECs had a very good working relationship for the benefit of the Programme. Coordination at the community level with parents, community members, CECs and Mobilisers was very smooth and productive.
• The training material for capacity building of the CECs was uniform in nature and used by many different organizations, in addition to the CEC Mobilisers, in training activities conducted with the CECs.
• The capacity that has been developed in the CECs ranges from community mobilization, conflict resolution, identification of school needs, enrollment campaigns, fundraising, child’s rights and protection, school santiation, teacher performance and equal access to education.

Gaps

• The MoEs in Somaliland and Puntland and the Regional Education Umbrellas in South/Central Somalia have not integrated well the CEC Mobiliser Programme into their institutional structures. In the case of the MoEs, the CEC Programme has not been integrated into the MoE Education Sector Committee plans or initiatives. Presently, insufficient ownership within the ministries and educational umbrellas has been established, support needed to sustain the Programme is minimal to nonexistent, and an exit or transition strategy has not been developed by any of the “owners” or implementing partners of the Programme even though funding is coming to an end.
• Coordination of the CEC Mobiliser Programme at the central and regional level by the MoEs in Somaliland and Puntland was less than optimal. Many CECs were trained numerous times using the same training material by different organizations in a non-coordinated manner. Duplication of effort was common across many implementing agencies. Education Sector coordination by the MoEs vis-à-vis CECs was poorly managed.
• CEC Mobiliser Programme’s centralized MoE management and funding dimensions in Somaliland and Puntland meant that the Programme had to be administered from MoE. In CEC Mobiliser’s case, this did not prove to be an effective structure. Alternatively, a more direct transfer of knowledge, skills and abilities to the local level, would have insured better local ownership, possibly expanded coverage and may have insured the sustainability and survival of some of the more successful aspects of the programme.
• A well-defined institutional relationship between central MoE and Regional Educational Umbrellas, regional/district MoE staff and CECs was not observed. The lack of well-defined organizational structure for the CEC Mobiliser Programme from community level to the central MoEs or Regional Education Umbrellas level contributed to a certain degree of ambiguity vis-à-vis roles and responsiblities across all levels and negatively impacted on implementation, supervisory and monitoring activities.
• The lack of strong CEC Mobiliser Programme “Focal Points” in the MoEs in Puntland and Somaliland and the Regional Education Umbrellas in South Central Somalia is one factor that inhibited the establishment of a centralized supervisory unit responsible for the monitoring of Programme implementation within each institution.

Recommendations:

1. CEC Mobilisers should no longer remain to be the “key” implementers of the CEC capacity building and support service delivery approach provided by the Ministries of Education and Regional Education Umbrellas. Alternatively, the roles and responsibilities of the CEC Mobilisers should be assumed by existing MoE and Regional Education Umbrella staff who work at the regional, district and community levels and liaise closely with community leaders

2. UNICEF should assist the MoEs in Puntland and Somaliland and the Regional Educational Umbrellas in South Central Somalia in the design of a CEC implementation strategy and service delivery approach, which is conceptually sound as well as systematic and structured and can be implemented within the existing organizational framework of the institution. Such a strategy and service delivery approach must be integrated into and consistent with the ministries’ and educational umbrellas’ vision, mission, principles and objectives.

3. Once a sustainable CEC implementation strategy and service delivery approach is designed, endorsed and approved by the MoEs and Regional Educational Umbrellas, UNICEF should assist these institutions in the development of an integrated CEC Work Plan; a revised organizational structure which is inclusive of CEC roles and responsibilities; and an institutional capacity building programme that would create the organizational, administrative and technical capacity in each institution to implement, supervisor and monitor the new CEC implementation strategy and service delivery approach

4. A new CEC implementation strategy and service delivery approach should promote greater community ownership of the CEC capacity building initiatives. Community ownership of the schools has been established to a significant degree by the CEC Mobililser Programme; now, community ownership of CEC capacity building and support service delivery system needs to be established

5. A new CEC implementation strategy and service delivery approach should promote greater communication and collaboration between the CECs at the local and regional levels. The sharing of experiences and lessons learnt across CECs will facilitate the capacity building and support service delivery system.

Lessons Learned (Optional):

Relevance
• CEC Mobiliser’s real strength lay in the relevance and practicability of its approach. MoE’s and Regional Education Umbrella’s implicit adoption of the CEC Mobiliser approach and the use of the Mobiliser Guide as teaching and resource material by local and international NGOs throughout Somalia attest to the usefulness of the material and the importance of developing the capacity of the CECs throughout the country.
• The CEC Mobiliser approach, inclusive of its monitoring tool and Mobiliser Guide, is one of the most important contributions made by the Programme to the culture of community-based school management.
• Successful community development requires community participation. The Community Mobiliser Programme facilitated community development because it drew upon the most important resource that exists within the community – the people

Effectiveness and Efficiency
• A conceptually sound capacity building approach for CECs, i.e., CEC Mobiliser Programme, did not achieve its full potential due to weak support and inconsistent management, supervision and monitoring from the MoEs in Somaliland and Puntland. Better management and administration of the Programme would have produced significantly more positive results and stimulated keener interest and engagement on the part of the MoEs.
• At the same time, a more structured, systematic approach to the implementation of the CEC Mobiliser Programme by the MoEs and the Regional Educational Umbrellas would have contributed positively to the development of the institutional capacity of the MoEs and Regional Educational Umbrellas, enhanced the integration of the Programme into each institution, and contributed positively to its ultimate “ownership” and sustainability.
• Despite UNICEF’s continuous engagement with the MoEs and the Regional Education Umbrellas, its lack of “strategic” targeted interventions towards (a) capacity building with the MoEs and the Regional Education Umbrellas; and (b) development of sustainability approaches for the CEC Mobiliser Programme after donor funded ended, did not facilitate the ultimate integration of the Programme into the MoEs or Regional Education Umbrellas.

Sustainability

• If key institutions like MoEs or Regional Education Umbrellas are not fully involved and engaged in an initiative such as the CEC Mobiliser Programme, the transfer of ownership and the development of institutional commitment and capacity becomes an important constraining issue that may eventually impede the Programme’s adoption by the institution as well as its ultimate sustainability.
• The weak institutional capacity of the Ministries of Education in Somaliland and Puntland as well as in the Regional Educational Umbrellas in South Central Somalia may have been an important factor as to why these institutions did not develop a stronger sense of ownership towards the CEC Mobiliser Programme as well as further integrate it into their organizational structures.



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