Over a three-year period, Tearfund were working with Malawian partner Livingstonia Synod AIDS Programme (LISAP) to implement a Scottish government funded project in Karonga district focusing on the empowerment of girls and boys. GBEP was dedicated to empowering 35,760 children to protect themselves against harmful cultural and social practices which expose them to abuse, deny them educational opportunities and put them at greater risk of HIV infection and other associated health risks.

 

At the completion of the project, Tearfund invited Jigsaw Consult to conduct an endline evaluation to capture learning and to understand the achievements and level of impact on the population of Karonga in order to inform future programming of girl and boy child empowerment within Malawi and beyond.

 

The specific objectives of the evaluation were as follows:

 

  • To assess and verify the progress against all project indicators (impact, outcome and output indicators)
  • To assess the project against the OECD Development Assistance Committee criteria specified below
  • To assess the status of various Scottish Programme Level indicators
  • To make recommendations as to how the approach should be adapted to ensure future projects' impact, sustainability, effectiveness, relevance and efficiency.

The Jigsaw evaluator travelled to Karonga to conduct training for a local team of eight enumerators who then successfully undertook 252 household surveys and 183 surveys of school children. The Jigsaw evaluator also conducted a set of 14 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders including LISAP and Tearfund staff members, district education managers, district social and welfare officers, school teachers and village chiefs. In addition to one-on-one interviews, four focus groups discussions were also carried out with relevant community groups.

 

The evaluation identified many strengths in the holistic programme and observed a number of impacts including the empowerment of local communities, a reduction of harmful social and cultural practices, an enhanced sense of self-worth among youth, a changed perception of the value of education for all (particularly for girls) and a reduction in economic poverty.

 

Jigsaw's methodological approach ensured a thorough assessment of project achievements which demonstrated that the programme had been effective in achieving the intended targets for the impact, outcome and output indicators set out at the beginning of the programme. Throughout the research process, emphasis was placed on integrated learning and tailored recommendations were developed in order to help both LISAP and Tearfund as they seek to strengthen accountability and increase internal organisational learning.

“Jigsaw proved to be cost effective and adaptive to our needs as a client in terms of budget, timing, as well as the scope and content of the assignment. This enabled us to deliver a meaningful evaluation which has effectively impacted the programming on Girls and Boys empowerment such that the Scottish government has funded a similar three-year project to neighbouring Chitipa district. The richness in depth and analysis of the report kept me engaged and eager to learn from the objectively presented issues and recommendations." - Vincent Moyo, Tearfund Country Representative, Malawi Office