Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2010 Sudan: Evaluation of "Community Radio Listening Groups Project"



Author: Nutrohealth for Development. Partners: Ministry of Information and Culture

Executive summary

 

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Background:

In our day the concept of community has a strong non-physical association.
But in spite of the new information and communication technologies,
‘community’ still retains a strong physical reference to people in geographic
proximity, with frequent, if not continuous, contact. People who share certain
cultural attributes have access to certain resources of social organisation and
common institutions, resulting in common basic beliefs.
In the process of defining, creating and maintaining a group identity and
interests for survival within a specifiable geographical and/or cultural space
people exchange initiatives, information and meanings. This happens through
a community communication system, which includes the various
communication roles (and their actors/performers), needs, and resources
available to the individuals and subgroups which make up the community.
Community radio is a very powerful form of community media, not to be
confused with National Public and commercial radio stations

Purpose/Objective:

The main aim of the evaluation was to provide an opportunity for the
communities and all stakeholders to reflect on the achievements and
constraints of the project through assessing the experiences of
communities and stakeholders from implementing Community Radio
Listening Groups Project, and analyze successes, challenges and
lessons learned to develop sound and relevant recommendations for
future activities.
 Specific objectives:
The specific objectives of this evaluation were:
o Assess the effectiveness of CRLP as communication strategy to engage
with communities and other stakeholders.
o Assess the effectiveness of CRLP as a source of information for
adoption of safer, healthier practices and improved access to services
for better health, nutrition, water, hygiene, and sanitation, education,
child protection, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
o Assess the project's relations to existing and emerging mass
communication strategies.
o Identify the activities and implementation strategies for the project (the
way the project was operationalized).
o Assess the performance of the project in terms of relevance and
adequacy in terms of content, quality, frequency, and delivery of
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messages and programmes (by sector) and identify ways for their
improvement.
o Assess the level of identification of community members (disaggregated
by socio-demographic characteristics) with the project as their own,
responding to and addressing their needs and issues.
o Assess the nature and effectiveness of partnership, collaboration, and
participation of all stakeholders at federal, state, and local levels.
o Identify and assess the specific government contributions to CRLP (in
terms of policy formulation, resource allocation, advocacy, etc.) and the
impact these contributions have on development and sustainability of
the project.
o Explore opportunities for improving all aspects of the project
implementation ( partnership, reach , and effectiveness )
o Identify best practices, strategies, interventions, and formulate
practicable specific recommendations for primary users of the
evaluation results.

Methodology:

Evaluation Design and Methodology
2.2.1 Overall Evaluation Approach
The proposed evaluation adopted a knowledge-based participatory approach
in obtaining necessary information and reaching results. The evaluation team
has the experience needed to manage a participatory evaluation process that
can bring quickly into focus the barriers that diminish the social impact of
community radio.
The proposed evaluation process is intending to assess the six key questions
of relevance, efficiency, and effectiveness, sustainability, meeting human and
child rights principles, and marked changes in lives of target population as a
result of project implementation.
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For obtaining comprehensive data regarding the issue of the proposed
evaluation the evaluation team will use a combination of qualitative and
quantitative methods.
Adoption of participatory approach to conduct this evaluation is based on the
following assumptions:
 Ability to explore socioeconomic, cultural, and political contexts within
which the project is implemented.
 Facilitates identification of stakeholders and their various perspectives.
 Identifies successes and constraints, taking in account both provider
and beneficiary perspectives.
 Identifies lessons learnt.
The proposed approach to evaluation of community radio listening groups'
project will have two main areas of focus within which the evaluation team
will attempt to address all issues envisaged in the evaluation specific
objectives.
The First area of focus is the evaluation of systems, including the complete
process of delivering community radio listening group project from design to
implementation (System assessment).
Here, the evaluation will cover the history, vision, mission, structure,
governance, management, operation, coverage ( both geographic and
linguistic ) and sustainability of each of the selected community radio
stations, as well as listening groups composition, structures, coverage and
functioning.
The second area of focus is that of the social impact or influence of the
project, including evaluating the effectiveness of community radio in bringing
about intended changes leading to the adoption of safer, healthier living
practices and improved access to services for better health, nutrition, water,
hygiene, and sanitation, education, child protection, HIV/AIDS prevention,
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and peace-building; and analyzing the impact of such contributions to a given
society. (Impact or outcome assessment)

Findings and Conclusions:

As part of the evaluation exercise a population based survey was carried out
with the objectives of documenting the socio-demographic characteristics of
community radio listeners, their knowledge, attitudes, practices, and beliefs
relating to issues raised by radio programmes. Information obtained through
this ride-on survey is expected to highlight current knowledge, attitudes, and
practices of target population, and allow drawing some conclusions on the
project's social impacts in target communities.
A total of 989 persons participated in the survey. The survey achieved a
response rate of 99.8%.
48.4% of the study participants were females and 51.6% were males.
Among the total number of participants 23.6% were in Kassala State, 26.8%
in Gadaref, 23.3% in Blue Nile , and 26.0% in North Darfur State.
Social impact evaluation attempted to look at the impacts in each area of
community radio programmes focus.
o Health and disease prevention:
The evaluation team observed the households in the most of the project
communities are showing improvements in personal and household hygiene
and sanitation practices
o Child protection
High percentages of the study participants are currently aware of the main
child rights issues. This is clearly manifested in decrease of child
punishment in family settings.
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Different percentages of population reported stopping punishing their
children:
 75.1% in Kassala State.
 64.3% in Gadaref State
 68.4% in Blue Nile State
 59.5%% in North Darfur State
And high rates of community members started to take care of registering
births and making sure that their children get their birth registration
certificates.
 79.7%in Kassala State.
 92.0%in Gadaref State
 82.7%in Blue Nile State
 76.7%in North Darfur State
o Girls education
The majority of participants at all sites showed increased knowledge of the
importance of school in general and girls’ education in particular.
Those who reported starting to send their female family members to school
were as follows:
 82.3%in Kassala State.
 84.5%in Gadaref State
 93.9%in Blue Nile State
 85.5%in North Darfur State
o Women rights
Although it was observed that the majority of participants were somehow
reluctant to speak about issues relating to women equality with men, above
50% of participants at all sites stated that they “Started to take in
consideration my spouse opinions”.
Documented opinions at different sites are as follows:
 61.2%in Kassala State.
 59.5%in Gadaref State
 74.3%in Blue Nile State
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 66.1%in North Darfur State
Increased participation of women in all project activities (not only listening to
programmes) is expected to bring more positive attitudes and behaviors
among community members in this regard.
High numbers of females involved in the project at stations’ level represents a
good achievement and encourages women at grass-roots level to increase
their participation and make their voices heard.
o Peace-building
Participants reported high levels of increased knowledge about peacebuilding
especially in North Darfur State.
The documented levels are as follows:
 69.5%% in Kassala State.
 86.4%in Gadaref State
 85.2%in Blue Nile State
 92.2%in North Darfur State
Despite the high level of knowledge reported participation in conflicts
resolution was reported by less numbers of them.

Recommendations:

Three groups of recommendations are made:
1. General recommendations:
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 Provide all groups of population (rural and urban) with information
about CR & CRLGs.
 Increase supports for currently implemented activities based on
needs at each site and improve current mechanism of project
financing.
 Initiate debate on the appropriateness of establishing community
radio as an independent entity and the need for policy regulating its
establishment and operation.
2. Recommendations a t community radio stations level:
 Relevant programming content should be pursued and periodically
review the broadcasting time.
 Radio stations should encourage balanced programming to have more
essential issues relevant to community needs.
 Increase project’s geographic coverage through using the cross coverage
from other community radio stations. As well as encouraging feedback
from audiences.
 Improve the knowledge and skills of programmes producers and
presenters through regular training.
 Encourage exchange of experience and lessons learnt between different
project sites.
 Work for improving the current funding mechanisms. This may include
community contributions, building new partnerships, and attracting
commercial advertisemen

Lessons Learned (Optional):

Partnership between the UNICEF, Government (MOIC), and CFCI
proved to be effective in facilitating the project's implementation.
 Evaluation of CRLGs project at the selected states indicates that the
project is delivering results as intended at both institutional and
community levels. The project has independent and functional
management structures at the radio stations' level as well as clear and
functioning structures at community level ( Listening groups and
community based producers)
 The project's participatory approach including community mobilization,
community involvement in programmes production, has been effective
in gaining acceptance and building trust with communities.
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 Flexibility in programmes contents development allowed communities
to voice their concerns on issues relevant to their immediate needs.
 The project has provided substantial benefits to the communities.
These benefits extend beyond, increased awareness, knowledge,
improved practices. In some communities the project helped the
communities in engage with relevant ministries and other development
actors and solve problems relating to provision of basic services.
 Implementation of some development interventions by different actors
in communities with listening groups increased the trust in the project
as a tool for development. (More communities started to ask
establishment of listening groups in their areas).
 Community management and ownership component is still weak due
to lack of skills and resources. Much of this can be mitigated by
strengthening the capacity building, training components, and
introduce practical skills trainings (for income generation) to allow local
communities to contribute to project's financial sustainability.
 Current total dependence on external support endangers future
project's sustainability and limits it current expansion.
 Difficulties facing efficient and effective functioning of the project are
related to multiple factors e.g. lack of control over airing time,
limitations and delays in delivery of financial allocations , lack of
adequate transportation facilities in some of the evaluated sites,
environmental factors ( rains , bad roads) , and lack of skills in
operating digital equipment among community based staff
 Partnerships building with local actors not involved at the initial
project's stages will contribute to broadening participation and securing
some additional financial resources.



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