2012 Zambia: Summative Evaluation of the International Inspiration Project on HIV and AIDS and Life-skills through Sports
Author: Dr. Lawrence Mukuka
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The International Inspiration Project (IIP) was the London 2012’s official international sports legacy programme of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG). The London 2012 bid team pledged to reach young people all over the world and connect them to the Inspiration Power of games so that they could become inspired to choose sport, become leaders, positive role models and inspire their peers. In 2007, Zambia was selected as one of the five countries (along with India, Brazil, Azerbaijan and Pilau) to benefit from a programme named International Inspiration (II) which grew out of a commitment by UK Sport, UNICEF, British Council and partners to help transform the lives of millions of children in schools and communities through the power of sport. The Government of the Republic of Zambia and partners engaged in a scoping exercise and developed a country proposal to guide International Inspiration activities within the four program work Strands, which would be common among all participating countries. The strands were:
Strand 1: Physical Education and School Links.
Strand 2: Sport Development.
Strand 3: Development of Children in Schools and Communities through Sport
Strand 4: Sporting Excellence.
In Zambia, UNICEF was identified to be the lead agency responsible for Strand 3 - Development of Children in Schools and Communities through Sport. In 2007, UNICEF engaged the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development and Sports Organizations including Right to Play , Sport in Action, SCORE and EduSport to plan for the implementation of the International Inspiration activities from 2008 through to 2010. Prior to the implementation of the project, a baseline survey was conducted in 2008 with the purpose of providing a situational analysis of each of the project areas (four provinces of Lusaka; Eastern; Western; and Southern).
The purpose of the evaluation were to:
i. Determine whether the objectives, outcomes and impact as stated in the projcet's logical framework were achieved
ii.Identify lessons learned and provide recommendations for future programs with similar focus, and
iii.Assess UNICEF and its implementing partners’ roles and performance as implementing agencies, including issues of sustainability of the project.
Participatory methodologies were used to collect the data and information for this evaluation. Quantitative methodologies were used as a supplement. These methodologies included:-
i. Secondary literature review:
This was a desk review of project documents and material related to the International Inspiration Project as well as background material used in project preparation, proposal documents and project monitoring documents, progress reports, work plans and other information available at UNICEF office and with the implementing partners.
ii. Key informant and Stakeholder interviews and consultations
These were held with the International Inspiration Project Secretariat, UNICEF office, Edusport, Right To Play (Former Staff), SCORE, Sport in Action, parents, coaches, community leaders, teachers, sports coordinators, Radio Managers, club leaders, peer leaders and Ministry of Education, Curriculum Development Centre (CDC). Overall, the evaluation conducted (7) key informant interviews in Lusaka.
iii. Focus group discussions
Consultations and group interviews were held in all project sites with peer leaders, coaches, community leaders, students, teachers, parents, coordinators, key informants and managers. During the process (170) questionnaires on behavioral change was administered to them. In total, the evaluation conducted (56) focus group discussions in all the (4) provinces of the project.
The data analysis for the evaluation was mainly qualitative although minimum data was collected quantitatively to complement the qualitative methodologies.
Findings and Conclusions:
The project represents relevance to the national priorities as expressed in the Zambian Governments Child, Youth and National Sports Policies as well as the Fifth National Development Plan (2006-2010), to develop skills for young people and promote sport in the country). The project is also viewed as having contributed to effectiveness through the achievement of most of its objectives and perceptions reflected by stakeholders in the follow up write ups. Efficiency on the value for money spent on the project has been realized as evidenced from the project’s achievement of most of its intended targets.
In terms of sustainability it can be argued that measures of sustainability had also been put in place as the Ministry of Education had initiated a process of curriculum reform with the aim of making Physical Education compulsory. The syllabus had been prepared to include all the major sports activities like football, netball, volleyball as well as traditional games and sports.
The evaluation concludes that there are notable successes with IIP project in terms of getting young people to participate in sports activities and in HIV prevention messages reaching out to young people as well as capacity building of peer educators, teachers, coaches and community leaders and members. Such successes will ensure continued activity implementation in schools and communities even with minimal support. The new curriculum and the new PE syllabus developed offers renewed opportunities for the education sector to use sport to contribute to personal growth, and development of interpersonal skills of young people.
Overall, the evaluation found that the project had potential to positively impact on the lives of children and young people as it helped them to appreciate sport.
This evaluation established recommendations at three levels of policy, implementation and partnerships.
a.The government should expedite the process of introducing the new physical education syllabus as a compulsory and examinable subject in the education sector as it will afford an opportunity for teachers to teach Life Skills for HIV prevention in every sporting activity.
b.The government, and NGO’s(through resource mobilization), should increase budgetary allocation for coaching, training materials, creation of more safe spaces to project sites in order to make learning on-going, and create refresher training for those already trained as well as encourage the use of local knowledge and traditional games for easy sustainability of the programme.
a.Having realized that the project recorded successes even with minimal safe spaces that were created it is recommended that government should mobilize resources to rehabilitate existing structures to promote participation in sports.
b.The Ministry of Education and partners should raise awareness among parents in communities where culture and traditional values present a serious challenge for parents to change their mind-set on the importance of sport for young people, especially girls, in impacting on behavioral change.
a.The government and NGO’s should develop a strategy that would encourage the use of sport to promote positive values and reduce vulnerability of children and young people in target areas to such ills as adolescent and teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug-abuse, pornography and sexually-transmitted diseases in order to transform their lives.
b.The evaluation recommends that implementing partners should increase the use of electronic mass media of radio and TV as these channels proved effective in reaching many people in the project areas and in other parts of the country.
i. The formation of (31) radio listening clubs to be useful in increasing awareness among children and young people about the importance of physical education, sport and life skills. The clubs provided a structure that enabled their members to listen to the radio programmes on a regular basis.
ii. The frequency of major sports events like the integrated life skills tournaments, youth closures and youth camps provided an opportunity for training and a platform for young people to share their experiences, achievements and challenges among themselves. In this way, many people were reached and trained and who also went and trained others.
iii. Working with schools and actively involving teachers in project activities enhanced the efficacy of II project as teachers used their professional capacity to further explain the project to the pupils and communities.
iv. The use of peer coach leaders proved to be effective as pupils were more expressive, energetic, relaxed and receptive to learn from fellow peers than they were from teachers and parents.
v. Bringing schools and communities together helped to promote social integration and social harmony in the project sites. It also reduced levels of vandalism to school property as pupils and communities expressed pride in their schools.
vi. The use of sports, games and life skills-based education, as tools to pass on health-promoting messages and other positive messages, had a transformative power on children and young people and significantly helped them to tackle culturally-sensitive issues like those concerning sexuality, polygamy and self-esteem.
vii. Project activities such as training workshops, sports camps as well community league events should be scheduled outside the official school calendar to fully engage teachers as well as pupils.
viii.Project activities helped to build positive character among the young people and also helped them to postpone sexual activity
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