In October 2016, we concluded the implementation of the project “Increasing Girls’ Access to Football in Jordan.” The project, funded by the US Embassy, had the overall goal to increase girls’ access to football in Northern Jordan, specifically in the cities of Irbid and Ramtha. The project lasted for 6 months and had three major objectives and a fourth internal one: 1) increasing the football skills for girls (aged 12-14) in northern Jordan; 2) increasing the confidence levels of the girls and their ability to positively engage with their communities, and 3) increasing the collaboration among the families of the girls playing football to break down barriers to access for girls in sports. The fourth objective, “inspiring girls across Jordan to achieve their full potential, around the theme of football through media highlights” was added by the project team for internal monitoring purposes and is discussed in more depth in the annexes section.
“Engaging Children and Youth as Partners in Preventing Violence against Children” was a regional project funded by the European Commission. It aimed at contributing to the eradication of all sorts of violence against children and youth in three border-sharing post-conflict countries of West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The external evaluation focused the effectiveness of the project and the quality of young people’s participation. It included a mixed methodology approach, with emphasis on qualitative methods. In each country, it included document review, surveys, semi-structured focus group discussions, and key informant interviews.
Youth were involved as researchers in the project and successfully conducted research which identified the worst forms of violence in the three countries and well as current approaches addressing them. Conclusions and recommendations were intended to be used broadly to influence country level programmatic and policy actions, and to mainstream findings at a societal level to enable communities to better prevent worst forms of violence. It was considered effective and useful but took place on a relatively smaller scale than planned. Unfortunately, was little to no evidence of changes of programmatic or policy actions in any of the countries, though there were evidence of project activities catalyzing significant community action projects to prevent violence against children.
A key success of the project was the active involvement of youth researchers (YRs) which ensured the implementation of activities, as well as a strong impact on the YRs themselves who grew personally and professionally. There was an adequate gender balance, and the participation was deeply meaningful to them and to the project. Many children and youth felt their voice was valued for the first time in their lives, and the project’s youth-led and participatory innovation drew attention from many stakeholders. The YRs provided credibility, commitment, and creativity that helped the project succeed despite many obstacles, including the worst Ebola Crisis in history. However, poor communication and coordination hindered the project’s success. Further, cases of vicarious trauma among the YRs was identified by the evaluation consultant who had a background in child phycology, and SFCG identified adequate actions to respond to this serious issue.
In terms of recommendations, the YRs should be well prepared emotionally and psychologically before going to the field, while in the field, and after returning from the field.
The potential risks of vicarious trauma should be assessed, identified, and addressed during the project design phase, and future proposals related to child and youth participation should be reviewed by qualified professionals with contextually relevant child and youth participation experience. Further, SFCG and primary stakeholders should increase the usage and distribution of project outputs in order to optimize the effectiveness of similar projects.
The project “Yawezekana – Youth for Peace in the Rusizi Plain” was funded by the German government and implemented by SFCG from March 2015 to September 2016. Its goal was to enable youth to become active contributors to peace and security in the Rusizi Plain, where security is volatile due to tension between different ethnic groups as well as farmers and herders.
This final evaluation report underlines some of the main results of the project. Overall, the youth and society improved their knowledge of their common history and culture, shared values, as well as their common interests in basic economic infrastructure. The project also contributed to a 24% increase in the number of local people who feel that youth plays a primary role in local conflict analysis and resolution. Currently, 71% of the population is aware of some conflict resolution and prevention structures in their area and the majority are able to explain how they work. The project enhanced youth capacity to engage in constructive dialogue, but had an impact on the rest of the population as well: public spaces that used to be places of dispute are now centers for sharing and service provision. Advice and conflict resolution strategies broadcast through the project’s media activities resulted in people talking about conflicts and led to a reduction of violence and other negative responses to conflict. Now, 100% of people interviewed feel comfortable “traveling” with people who are not from their own community. However, the project’s impact on women has been limited, with some negative results like an increase from 11% to 42% of women who think only men led peace initiatives in the last six months. As demonstrated in the baseline study, the barriers are mainly due to cultural habits and an historical exclusion of women from this type of social activity.
Following the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea in early 2014, stigmatization and forced quarantines of orphans and persons who had been healed led to the rupture of traditional forms of solidarity (familial and communal). UNICEF in partnership with SFCG started the project « Tous solidaires des enfants et des personnes affectées par Ebola » in order to reinforce traditional mechanisms of solidarity where children and adults have been most affected by the virus. This final evaluation was led by an external consultant between March and May 2016 in Conakry, Faranah, Gueckedou, Lola, Kindia and Forecariah. Key results include positive impact on communication and awareness raising about the virus between the community and local authorities resulting in changes in attitudes and behaviors of the population towards individuals affected by the Ebola virus. Children and individuals affected are now better integrated and benefit from a greater solidarity from the community.
Communicating for Peace in South Sudan was a 14-month project facilitated by UNICEF, Search for Common Ground, and CRN that started in 2014, funded by USAID. The project aimed to promote and strengthen social cohesion and resilience against conflict in South Sudan and targeted youth and community influencers such as religious leaders and media actors. This final external evaluation conducted by Forcier Consulting used a mixed methodological approach including a desk review and the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data in three counties (Bor, Juba and Wau). It measures the impact of the project, focusing on changes at the goal and objective levels in comparison with baseline measurements. The main findings include the success of the Radio for Peacebuilding initiatives Hiwar al Shabab and Sergeant Esther in producing both social and individual changes. Target locations experienced general improvement with regards to social cohesion and conflict resolution, with the exception of Bor. Overall, participants underscored the potential for media as a useful tool for peacebuilding.
This is the report of the final evaluation of the project ‘Youth Ambassadors for Tolerance and Religious Diversity” implemented by SFCG, Indonesia. This is a 24-month project (18 months plus six months no –cost extension) and implemented between 2013 and 2016. The project was funded by US State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). The project sought to promote inter and intra faith cooperation and tolerance in communities of high religious tension in Indonesia. The evaluation found that SFCG adequately provided information on the history of religion and religious diversity to the youth ambassadors and brought them together to interact with other youth from different religions and faiths in a conflict sensitive manner. Participating youth were able to increase their skills as it related to theory of conflict resolution, organizational planning and management, and media engagement. Facilitation/communication and media skills were identified by the youth ambassadors as the most important skills gained as a result of this program and the areas they felt still needed improvement. It also provided the first opportunity for many of the youth to challenge their own perceptions and stereotypes as they interacted with people from other religions for the first time. However, the evaluation also noticed that there was unusually high percentage of inactive youth participants and there was less than desired engagement of online and print media in the two out of three sites visited. The evaluation presents few lesson learned as well as specific recommendations for similar future initiatives.
From April 2012 to December 2015, USAID funded SFCG in Burundi to implement a project aiming at mobilizing youth for peaceful elections, in partnership with the local operators ADISCO and CEDAC. The objective was to enforce the ability of Burundian youth to resist against the manipulation and violence with the approach of the 2015 elections, by creating a space for constructive and peaceful dialogue between youth of different cultures and affiliations, encouraging the collaborative participation of youth in managing their problems and for community development and enforcing solidarity and reconciliation activities initiated by youth within their communities.
Although the project was implemented in the preparation phase of the electoral process, this final evaluation was conducted in a very different context, marked by the effects of the Burundian crisis following the designation of Pierre Nkurunziza by his party as presidential candidate for a third mandate. The report underlines the relevance of the project and its effectiveness upon the targeted youth: 87% of youth interviewed realized that manipulation exists and that it can be identified and avoided, and 89% believed they could overcome the obstacles preventing them from peaceful coexistence. Overall, the report shows that the project achieved its objectives regarding the young participants directly involved in project activities (more than 3000), but recommends to widen the scope of future projects in order to stimulate change on a larger scale. The evaluation showed a high level of ownership of the program and recommends to continue similar programming, involving more national women leaders and ensuring more frequent monitoring of targeted youth.