2013 Liberia: Final Evaluation of Psychosocial Support, Child Protection and Development, and Youth HIV and AIDS Prevention Project
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The implementation of the Psychosocial Support, Child Protection and Development, and Youth HIV and AIDS Prevention Project, funded by UNICEP, commenced in September 2011 in Maryland County in South Eastern Liberia. The 7-month project was extended by 3 months on a no cost basis and ended in June 2012. As part of RTP’s accountability agreement with UNICEF, an end of project evaluation was conducted.
The evaluation will assess the overall impact of this project on direct project beneficiaries of children and youth, their families, surrounding communities and volunteer leaders as well as the extent to which the project has achieved its objectives. It is expected that the evaluation will:
• Assess the appropriateness of the intervention to produce sustainable development results in the lives of the target beneficiaries
• Provide an external assessment of the project’s relevance, how effectively it was managed and implemented and whether the project has achieved its development outcomes and is sustainable.
Objectives of the Evaluation
The objectives of this end of project evaluation are to:
(1) Assess whether the ‘Psychosocial Support, Child Protection and Development, and Youth HIV and AIDS Prevention Project’ of Right to Play Liberia has made progress towards the project’s intended goal and the extent to which the project outcomes and for that matter objectives have been achieved;
(2) Identify key lessons learned, tools, and (if appropriate) best practices that are being used to enhance the effectiveness of the project implementation in order to foster organizational learning and contribute to informed decision-making and future program planning;
(3) To make recommendations to RTP Liberia management on how these lessons should inform the future funding decisions and project implementation
The study uses the UNEG norms to arrive at conclusions and recommendations. Conclusions and recommendations are also drawn from findings of the evaluation
Findings and Conclusions:
After five consecutive days of both qualitative and quantitative research in the communities, the major findings of the final evaluation are presented below.
It covers findings on the psychosocial wellbeing of project beneficiaries, their access to recreational facilities, level of integration of both Liberian and Ivorian children, and children’s level of understanding on child protection and HIV and AIDS issues.
The key findings are:
• The project greatly impacted the lives of refugee children, youth, children of host communities and the communities at large
• Psychosocial wellbeing of participants of the project is measured higher than those of non-participants except for the indicator of caring relationship. This could be due to the fact that Ivorian parents are also traumatized and are therefore not paying keen attention to their children’s psychosocial needs.
• Play section with children and youth afforded them the opportunity to acquire life skills on empathy, cooperation, inclusion, etc, and knowledge on issues like HIV and AIDS and child rights and child protection issues.
• Participants are more willing to integrate than non-participants
• Participants are more knowledgeable on issues on HIV and AIDS than non-participants.
• Participants are more knowledgeable on issues of child rights and child protection issues than non-participants.
• Project ended abruptly and there was no formal turning over ceremony to hand over playgrounds and CFS to the community or other NGOs.
Government of Liberia
• Improve road conditions in the country to enable INGOs, NGOs and other partners to reach out to people in the rural parts of Liberia.
• Involve local government authorities with project implementation to ensure sustainability of projects. They could also contribute local materials to projects so as to take up ownership of the project when it eventually phases out.
• Revisit procurement procedures to reduce time wastage, which undermines project efficiency.
• ROCH should be empowered by UNICEF to effectively take over the activities of Right To Play in Barriken and Pleebo.
Right To Play
• In future projects, RTP should formally turn over playground and CFS to the community or other NGOs to ensure sustainability/continuity
• Materials used to construct sea-saws, slides, and swings for use by children should be improved. The use of steel plates degenerates into sharp edges over time. These sharp edges are dangerous to children’s safety. Safer materials like tires or other rubber materials could be used instead.
• CFS structure should be more permanent than tents wear out quickly or could be burglarized easily
• Although the project was an emergency one, sustainability of similar projects should be taken into consideration during the Mid Term of project implementation or at the end of future projects.
• Phase out of project should be systematic and gradual. Abrupt closure and departure leave no room for continuity / sustainability. Even if donor runs out, communities must be aware that the project has come to an end and facilities properly turned over to appropriate authorities
• Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in each community should be involved with the maintenance of the playgrounds.
• Although ROCH has indicated that there are refresher training for leaders/volunteers, communities have stressed the need for the activity to continue to upgrade the skills of volunteers/leaders/coaches
Full report in PDF
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