The final evaluation assessed the efficacy and feasibility of the intervention model to inform USAID/Mali’s program design and decision-making, in particular, for the Mission’s Country Development Strategy Cooperation Strategy (CDCS).
Region: West Africa
The final evaluation of USAID/Mali’s Emergency Education Support Activity (EESA) was conducted by The Mitchell Group, Inc. (TMG) between January and April 2020 in order to document the extent to which targeted beneficiaries benefited from EESA and to identify programmatic and management factors that may have contributed to or detracted from intended results, and assesses the activity’s potential for sustainability.
EESA was implemented by a consortium led by CAMRIS International from January 2016 to December 2018. The Activity’s purpose was to ensure that schools in regions that have experienced ongoing violent conflict during the past decade remain safe and accessible for primary education learners. EESA worked with a total of 250 primarily rural schools in Mali’s five Central and Northern regions namely Segou, Mopti, Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal. EESA therefore focused on three intermediate results (IR): 1) increased availability of safe and accessible primary schooling; 2) improved delivery of conflict-sensitive basic educational services; and 3) strengthened institutional capacity to deliver education services in conflict-affected environments.
TMG brought in a team of international and local evaluation experts to address the following questions categorized along 3 lines of inquiry: 1) project implementation; 2) project management; and 3) project sustainability.
The evaluation team sampled 94 of EESA’s 250 schools in all five regions using local data collectors, who work in their home communities due to severe security and travel-related constraints. The evaluation methods used included individual and key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and a parent survey.
Key findings include that, in addition to the tangible school infrastructure benefits, EESA’s most important contributions were to parents, school personnel and school and community management committees. EESA’s use of community-based agents who served as trainers, coaches, and mobilizers was a key contributor to project achievements; however, the approach also lacked a viable exit plan for sustained employment of AMCs after the activity ended. The evaluation found strong evidence that supports EESA’s overall success as a model activity for supporting primary education in conflict-affected regions in Mali and elsewhere.