ECOPER and OCKHAM IPS have collaborated on an evaluation and tracer study for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) ‘Centres of African Excellence’ (CoAE) programme. The evaluation was undertaken with the aim of assessing the performance of the overall programme to date and allowing lessons to be drawn to inform future improvements to the programme. ECOPER conducted field missions to centres in two of the programme countries: Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The accompanying tracer study sought information on the current occupations of alumni through an online survey and a series of individual and group interviews in order to draw conclusions on the programme’s impact.
TVET for Syrian refugees and Jordanian vulnerable youth
The provision of good quality TVET is an important tool for enhancing the career prospects of young people. The UNESCO project ‘Provision of TVET Opportunities for Syrian and Vulnerable Jordanian Youth in Jordan’ aimed to provide support in accessing TVET and ECOPER evaluators have submitted their report on the external evaluation and tracer study related to the project. The evaluation aimed to assess Phase II of the project, while the tracer study aimed to assess the impact of the project’s first phase, by surveying former students on their current occupations and impressions of the education programme.
Protecting cultural heritage and diversity
ECOPER has conducted the external evaluation of the UNESCO project ‘Protecting Cultural Heritage and Diversity in Complex Emergencies for Stability and Peace.’ The project aimed to reduce the vulnerability of populations whose culture and heritage is targeted or affected in complex emergency situations, with interventions in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen. During the evaluation ECOPER conducted interviews with stakeholders in beneficiary countries. The core ECOPER team was supported by an archaeologist with experience in evaluating damage to archaeological sites and a regional expert in development project management and evaluation.
Livelihood programmes for Myanmar refugees
This month ECOPER completed a systematization of the livelihood programmes run for Myanmar refugees by the Catholic Office for Emergency Relief and Refugees (COERR) as part of its project ‘Strengthening capacities and developing sustainable livelihood opportunities for the Myanmar refugees largely encamped along the Thai-Myanmar border in preparation for eventual repatriation.’ The project is funded by the EU and Caritas, a partner of COERR. The systemization took the form of a case study and was achieved through a broad document review and interviews with beneficiaries and COERR staff. Three field missions to Thailand were conducted in the course of the study.
Education for sustainable development
Education is an essential component in implementing the sustainable development agenda. Reflecting this, UNESCO launched the project ‘Today for Tomorrow: Coordinating and Implementing the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)’ in February 2016. ECOPER has collaborated with Ockham IPS to conduct the project’s final evaluation. The evaluation featured stakeholder interviews and an online survey, with a field mission to Cost Rica being undertaken by ECOPER.
Better designed and implemented entrepreneurship policies should result in more new businesses created, with potential long-term benefits for economic growth, employment and economic integration. Following this logic, UNCTAD has implemented the project ‘Support Developing Country Policy Makers in the Formulation of National Entrepreneurship Policies through the Implementation of Entrepreneurship Policy Frameworks’. The intervention has been with an evaluation conducted by ECOPER, which featured an extensive document review, along with interviews and an online survey. ECOPER also attended an Africa Entrepreneurship Forum in Kigali, Rwanda in order to directly observe project activity.
Reinforcing democratic processes in vulnerable populations
The peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC in 2012 brought with it the promise of more peaceful living conditions and new opportunities to participate in democratic processes. However, such opportunities are not evenly distributed. To help address this, Caritas implemented the project ‘Reinforcement of Democratic Processes with Gender and Differential Approaches in Vulnerable Populations in Chocó, Columbia’ between October 2015 and July 2017. ECOPER has presented its final evaluation report on the project. The evaluation methodology was constructed around a participatory approach, which involved the conducting of focus groups and semi-structured interviews with project beneficiaries and other stakeholders.
Increasing teacher participation in education reform
Recent research by international organisations has found that teachers do not sufficiently participate in key discussions on educational reform in developing countries, therefore depriving the process of teachers’ input and undermining teachers’ sense of ownership and commitment. The UNESCO project ‘Improving Teacher Support and Participation in Local Education Groups (LEGs)’ sought to address this deficit. Having run since 2015, ECOPER and Ockham IPS evaluators have recently completed an evaluation of the intervention. A mixed method approach was used for the evaluation, involving interviews with stakeholders at international and national levels, an online survey and field missions to Ivory Coast, Nepal, and Uganda, which provided a deeper understanding of how the project had operated at a country level.
Support for TVET in the Southern African Development Community
Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) can empower individuals and contribute to economic growth. UNESCO’s Better Education for Africa’s Rise (BEAR) project aimed to support TVET in five African countries and this month the project’s evaluation report was published following a collaboration between ECOPER and Ockham IPS. The evaluation involved ECOPER carrying out field missions in two countries: The Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia.
Supporting literacy in West Africa
Despite rising school enrolment rates in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal, research into primary school reading literacy have revealed poor results. With the aim of addressing this, UNESCO’s International Bureau of Education (IBE) launched the project ‘The results of learning to read in the first years of primary school: integration of the curriculum, teaching, learning aids and assessment’ in November 2013. ECOPER has recently presented its evaluation report of the project. The evaluation applied a mixed methodology, taking in surveys, interviews and focus groups with project stakeholders, and field missions to the three beneficiary countries.