04.06.2018 - UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa

UNESCO-HNA project on girls’ education in Ethiopia on track

©UNESCO/Gaia Micciché

©UNESCO/Gaia Micciché

Under the UNESCO-HNA Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education established to address the many factors compounding gender equality in education, the Ethiopia sub-project aims to build human and institutional capacities in gender responsive pedagogy, improve the knowledge and skills of adolescent girls on gender responsiveness and life skills, and create a gender responsive and safe learning environment at schools through community engagement. According to the mid-term evaluation (covering the period from 2015 to mid-2017) conducted by UNESCO to inform the key donor and the Organization’s decision-makers: “The Ethiopia sub-project is well-focused and, although subject to a number of delays, appears to be on-track to achieving its objectives”. The evaluation has produced evidence-based recommendations on how to enhance implementation and sustain results of the projects under the HNA partnership and, in particular, for the Ethiopia sub-project, the three following lessons were drawn:  

1. Strategic approach for the future. Although the HNA-Ethiopia project document touches upon next steps, such as potential partnerships, according to the mid-term evaluation it does not lay out a strategy for leveraging the outputs and results of the projects. For instance, even though some Ethiopian schools are already sharing their experiences and best practices from the project with neighboring schools, the evaluation report stresses that these examples should be strengthen to provide the basis for establishing a more strategic approach for the future.  

2. Sustainability of results. The Ethiopia sub-project strives to institutionalize gender responsive education in three higher learning institutions and then in twelve secondary schools, but beyond these important efforts aimed at institutionalization, as stated in the evaluation report, the project has not adequately addressed the challenge to sustainability. Many other factors need to be taken into account, including changes in context such as those related to politics, available resources and national priorities. The report concludes that the risks to sustainability, many of them of a political and/or cultural nature, need not only to be identified in project design but they should also be subjected to regular reassessment together with identification of measures to mitigate them.  

3. Strategic and results-based communication. Improved communication and other recent efforts to increase the visibility of UNESCO’s work supporting girls’ and women’s education need to continue. At the country level, communication with partners is essential if the appropriate partnerships are to be developed and project results are to be leveraged. Effective communication has also implications for ensuring that synergies are exploited and for reducing overlaps with other activities. This kind of communication is ongoing in Ethiopia, however, as reported by the mid-term evaluation, where changing social norms or behaviors is required, it is necessary to be more strategic and go beyond increasing visibility through brochures and UNESCO websites. Similar recommendations apply to the annual project reporting style, which, according to the evaluation report, needs to transcend the sole description of outputs to deeper analysis of contribution to results.




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