Right to Education in the Gaza Strip Programme

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Palestine
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
02/2019
Completion Date:
12/2018
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
29,585

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Title Right to Education in the Gaza Strip Programme
Atlas Project Number: 00094739
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Palestine
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 12/2018
Planned End Date: 02/2019
Management Response: Yes
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.1.2 Marginalised groups, particularly the poor, women, people with disabilities and displaced are empowered to gain universal access to basic services and financial and non-financial assets to build productive capacities and benefit from sustainable livelihoods and jobs
Evaluation Budget(US $): 29,585
Source of Funding: Project Funding
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 29,585
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Nadia Saad Team Leader
Salah Taha Infrastructure Expert
Safwat Daib Mental Health Expert
Wael Daya E-Work Expert
Haneen Elsammak Social Expert
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders: Ministry of Education, Local universities, Private Schools, civil society organization, and UNICEF
Countries: OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
Comments:

This evaluation was finalized on time but documents were uploaded on April when the plan was uploaded.

Lessons
Findings
1.

 

Construction & rehabilitation component:

  • Using BBB approach: BBB was an innovative idea and approach that motivated UNDP, partners and teams to introduce logical inputs, achieve valuable results, and inspire remarkable change.
  • Applying the CFS principles and standards remarkably improved the education environment. The applying of full principles of CFS as a pilot project was an interesting idea to practice the principles and to practically examine the validity for Gaza context. The approach of applying partial principles of CFS improved its relevance to Gaza context considering the key limitations of spaces and costs. 
  • Construction of MPHs (shelters and space for students / girls): Provide new facilities in some schools for open and extracurricular activities in education, especially sports halls for girls. Considering the needs of PwDs in the design process to improve their accessibility by adaptations in schools that include lifts, ramps, special corridors and toilets. Support schools with eco-sustainable solutions (solar energy, landscaping, rainwater infiltration, etc.).
  • The advanced payments for contractors (20%) enabled them to secure the required materials and overcome some liquidity issues and shortage of materials in the local market.
  • Good coordination between UNDP staff, partners, beneficiaries and contractors to facilitate all project tasks. Involvement of key international agencies in the planning and conceptual design phase helped in introducing new principles and supported “the-know-how” among the stakeholders. Also, the involvement of the local partners within the process and leading the planning for their projects is good practice mainly in the universities where their engineering-offices have an impressive level of experience.

 

Mental Health:

  • Prolonging the implementation period of MH activities to over than 6 months in future programming to allow better coordinated services, and developing database of beneficiaries’ contact information (mobile number and e-mail) to facilitate reaching them for other purposes, e.g., evaluation or further training.
  • After the end of the programme, GCMHP extended their services for two month and practical training for another year, conducted refresher training with the counsellors, and provided counsellors with additional training materials. MBM direct beneficiaries applied the intervention with their families and other community groups in, e.g., mosque and sports club. MoH adapted the MBM for their own use and conducted trainings with other groups in other organizations.
  • The university teachers acknowledged being far away from the practical filed and more attracted to integrating practical training in their teaching including MBM techniques. The counsellors reported success in the treatment of functional enuresis and obsessive-compulsive cases, improvement in the relation between students and teachers, and improvement in the interaction between school and family after joining the programme. The medication dose taken by the anxiety and depression cases reduced after participating in MBM. After joining the programme intervention, many teachers replaced the stick with breathing and relaxation exercises with the students.

 

E-work

  • Considering the chronic blockade on Gaza Strip and the present of high unemployment rate among educated youth in particular with females, the e-work intervention of $290,000 was an opportunity in which the strategic goals were translated and achieved including but not limited: alleviate poverty, empowering employability, enhancement of international competition through online freelancer platforms as well as the social media. Armed by the significant achievement of e-work intervention, scaling up the project with modified activities and budget is recommended in the following areas: capacity building for mentors and trainers on advanced trendy skills; developing the quality of curriculum; upgrading the work space environment, hiring qualified trainers on English for online business, developing programs that considering the e-work as a conduit for youth from different disciplines.

 

Civic leadership

The youth involvements is very significant by increasing their leadership skills, voluntary works  and involvement in schools and community initiatives at the local level, and enhance their connections with international community through CSOs regional forums, cultural dialogue with students from other universities etc. These initiatives and cultural dialogue will enhance youth skills, experience, open new opportunities for youth.  


Recommendations
1

Recommendation or Issue 1

Ensure consultations among key partners in the design phase: In the design phase, it is necessary for MOEHE and other partners to consult school administrations as they are more familiar with end-beneficiaries (students’ behavior & needs). The implementing agencies, UNDP, should be informed by partners, MOEHE, about their future plans, such as introducing new shifts or dividing a school into two schools. This should prevent unsound planning of some important facilities.

2

Recommendation or Issue 2

Revise the bidding and tendering procedures to be more efficient: prepare separate tenders for each type of work, mainly for large component/sub-projects (i.e. one contract that includes construction, furniture, and instrumentation is not recommended). Underestimates of prices and selection of low bid contractors should be revised to the best interest of the project delivery. Performance tools could be adopted and enforced. When supplying new technologies, it is good to arrange training for schools-staff and technology teachers (such as 3LCD finger-touch interactive projector. (Efficiency)

3

Recommendation or Issue 3

Replicate the Mental Health intervention process in future programming.  The process was guided by relevant national policies and priorities, and actual needs of beneficiaries. Furthermore, replicate the same intervention approaches with other beneficiary groups including, theoretical and practical training to counsellors, furnishing of counselling units, MBM to counsellors, and mhGAP to PHC practitioners.

4

Recommendation or Issue 4

Allocate more time for theoretical training targeting the counsellors, and practical training targeting both counsellors and PHC practitioners. It is also recommended to extend the implementation period of MH activities to one year to allow better coordination, higher quality, and more careful study of activity implementation challenges with certain groups of beneficiaries (e.g., university teachers). Furthermore, the programme management costs of local partners should be within the local standards, and the treatment of the technical staff costs shall be sustained as contribution to their salaries paid by the partner organisation to avoid double salary.

5

Recommendation or Issue 5

Integrate successful interventions within the systems of the key relevant partners. It is recommended to enhance the sustainability of implementation of the original version of the MBM through integrating it in the systems, e.g., universities, and enhance the sustainability of the mhGAP in PHC’s through integrating it in their systems through agreements with PHC’s management. Furthermore, it is recommended to organize same training to other groups of direct beneficiaries and refresher training to previous trainees and build the training capacity for MBM in MoEHE, MoH, and universities. Also, the sustainability issue should be discussed with partners in the initial programme design phase to be able to learn about risks and find solutions or make adaptations. Improve counselling unit interventions through integrating gender considerations.

6

Recommendation or Issue 6

It is recommended that UNDP scales up similar project by including more youth from different disciplines such as marketing, writing and translation, finance, accounting, engineering, and art, among others. Such inclusion contributes in reducing unemployment and alleviating poverty. The trendy demand on the freelancers’ platforms required experience from different background. In addition, motivation group works that include candidates from different backgrounds increases the income opportunities. In this context, it is recommended to use different verification standards on the selection of candidates. Inclusion of youth from marginalized places with high unemployment rate such as Khan Younis and Rafah.

7

Recommendation or Issue 7

IPs should redesign the technical training courses to be more efficient in terms of time and subjects/curricula. Allocate more time for technical training with additional mentorship hours by focusing more on group monitoring to motivate the team building skills. Restructuring the training contents of freelancer and soft skills to avoid duplication. Develop the curriculum of soft skills by emphasizing self-learning skills and it is recommended to include the top-rated courses in the e-work platforms such as block chains and Tensorflow, among others. It is also recommended to record videos for all technical training to insure higher reach, and to sponsor the advertisements on the social media websites.

8

Recommendation or Issue 8

Future interventions should increase female mentors in mentorship and coaching in order to ensure gender balance and involve women in e-work.

9

Recommendation or Issue 9

UNDP and IPs to run similar projects by consortium as long as the project was exercised though two partners, having consortium may add value to the project by encouraging partnership and sharing the experience. An exit strategy would also ensure smooth handover to IPs and contribute to sustainability

10

Recommendation or Issue 10

UNDP can replicate the Virtual Majlis initiative while incorporating lessons learned and best practices. Taking into consideration the success of the Virtual Majlis, by allocating more human and financial resources to repeat the activity by involving more Gaza students to open dialogue with students from other cultures and countries. CSOs can play active role in leading the implementation of the Virtual Majlis, cultural dialogue and advocacy campaign to breakout the blockage imposed on the Gaza people.

11

Recommendation or Issue 11

Explore funding opportunities to sustain the successful initiatives. Both UNDP and the donor could allocate more human and financial resources to ensure the continuation of beautification, by recruiting more experts to help implementation of activities at a wider manner

1. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 1

Ensure consultations among key partners in the design phase: In the design phase, it is necessary for MOEHE and other partners to consult school administrations as they are more familiar with end-beneficiaries (students’ behavior & needs). The implementing agencies, UNDP, should be informed by partners, MOEHE, about their future plans, such as introducing new shifts or dividing a school into two schools. This should prevent unsound planning of some important facilities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP management agrees with the recommendation. Although consultation sessions were carried out in different schools, with students and principals, UNDP will consider undertaking consultations sessions and needs assessment with Ministry of Education and each targeted schools’ students, teachers and principals as possible in order to ensure their needs are considered in the design and implementation.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1. Meeting with MoEHE senior management and advocating for consulting with school administrations and students on their needs and to ensure that MoEHE future plans are taken into consideration
[Added: 2019/05/08] [Last Updated: 2019/06/25]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2019/06 Completed Evidence: Minutes of Meeting with MOEHE History
2. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 2

Revise the bidding and tendering procedures to be more efficient: prepare separate tenders for each type of work, mainly for large component/sub-projects (i.e. one contract that includes construction, furniture, and instrumentation is not recommended). Underestimates of prices and selection of low bid contractors should be revised to the best interest of the project delivery. Performance tools could be adopted and enforced. When supplying new technologies, it is good to arrange training for schools-staff and technology teachers (such as 3LCD finger-touch interactive projector. (Efficiency)

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP/PAPP follows the standard operating procedures based on the procurement manual that is reviewed regularly and approved by the chief procurement officer and legal support office. Also, UNDP selects the lowest responsive bidders based on comprehensive and systematic evaluation of all received offers, and not necessarily the lowest price.  Combining deliverables in procurement takes place in cases where there’s overlap in responsibilities of deliverables like IT preparations for installation within the infrastructure components, which cannot be separated technically in addition to tight framework of implementation based on agreement with donor. Regarding training of school staff on new technologies of 3, this had already taken place, where School IT teacher and MoEHE IT supervisor were trained on 3LCD projector as part of delivering the equipment.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1. Tendering of future services/goods/civil works will consider separation between the different components as applicable and in a manner that does not compromise the quality and implementation timeframe in accordance with donor’s agreement.
[Added: 2019/05/08] [Last Updated: 2019/12/17]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2019/12 Completed Tender of civil works considered separation between different components. ITB-PAL-0000062884: Lot#12: Construction of the western grandstand in Beit Lahia playground http://procurement-notices.undp.org/view_notice.cfm?notice_id=53418 History
3. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 3

Replicate the Mental Health intervention process in future programming.  The process was guided by relevant national policies and priorities, and actual needs of beneficiaries. Furthermore, replicate the same intervention approaches with other beneficiary groups including, theoretical and practical training to counsellors, furnishing of counselling units, MBM to counsellors, and mhGAP to PHC practitioners.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP management agrees that UNDP should replicate mental health interventions in future programming

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 Future projects of developing school infrastructure will include mental health interventions building on the lessons learnt and best practices
[Added: 2019/05/08]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/12 Completed Evidence attached
4. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 4

Allocate more time for theoretical training targeting the counsellors, and practical training targeting both counsellors and PHC practitioners. It is also recommended to extend the implementation period of MH activities to one year to allow better coordination, higher quality, and more careful study of activity implementation challenges with certain groups of beneficiaries (e.g., university teachers). Furthermore, the programme management costs of local partners should be within the local standards, and the treatment of the technical staff costs shall be sustained as contribution to their salaries paid by the partner organisation to avoid double salary.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP management agrees that there was supposed to be more time for implementation of mental health interventions. However, this was compromised due to limited timeframe provided prior to end date set out in the agreement with donor. Nevertheless, high coordination and cooperation took place with the IPs, beneficiary institutions and relevant stakeholders to ensure activities are implemented adequately. However, future programming will consider allocating adequate timeframe for mental health interventions. Also, the management cost of IPs will be considered with the local range by UNDP. No double salaries took place with any IP personnel where close monitoring and verification took place prior to any payment. 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Allocate more timeframe for implementation of mental health interventions to ensure that the results are achieved appropriately.
[Added: 2019/05/08]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/12 Completed Coordination with IPs enabled to achieve the planned activities and results with the available timeframe.
4.2 Make sure that management cost of IPs in future programming is within the local standards
[Added: 2019/05/08]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/03 Completed IPs management cost of following interventions (e-work) considered specific management cost of IPs at 8%.
5. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 5

Integrate successful interventions within the systems of the key relevant partners. It is recommended to enhance the sustainability of implementation of the original version of the MBM through integrating it in the systems, e.g., universities, and enhance the sustainability of the mhGAP in PHC’s through integrating it in their systems through agreements with PHC’s management. Furthermore, it is recommended to organize same training to other groups of direct beneficiaries and refresher training to previous trainees and build the training capacity for MBM in MoEHE, MoH, and universities. Also, the sustainability issue should be discussed with partners in the initial programme design phase to be able to learn about risks and find solutions or make adaptations. Improve counselling unit interventions through integrating gender considerations.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

We agree with the recommendation that UNDP should enhance sustainability of mental health interventions through integrating them in the systems of higher education or relevant ministries. Implementing partners had already submitted sustainability plans as part of the exit strategy. Follow up visits confirmed that the MoEHE and universities have already adopted the new approaches as part of their operations.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 Sustainability plan to be developed as integral part of implemented projects
[Added: 2019/05/08]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/03 Completed Actually completed in March 2017 - UNDP/PAPP & IPs developed sustainability planned plan as part of exit strategy
6. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 6

It is recommended that UNDP scales up similar project by including more youth from different disciplines such as marketing, writing and translation, finance, accounting, engineering, and art, among others. Such inclusion contributes in reducing unemployment and alleviating poverty. The trendy demand on the freelancers’ platforms required experience from different background. In addition, motivation group works that include candidates from different backgrounds increases the income opportunities. In this context, it is recommended to use different verification standards on the selection of candidates. Inclusion of youth from marginalized places with high unemployment rate such as Khan Younis and Rafah.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP agrees on the need to scale up similar projects and involving more potential disciplines in the e-work. More evidence will be sought on the selection of such disciplines. In the selection of beneficiaries, criteria focused more on qualifications and gender balance through a systematic selection process.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1. Design of future youth economic empowerment projects will consider scaling up e-work, with focus on new potential disciplines.
[Added: 2019/05/08] [Last Updated: 2019/05/16]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/12 Completed The action is completed and not initiated (as mentioned in the signed management response) History
7. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 7

IPs should redesign the technical training courses to be more efficient in terms of time and subjects/curricula. Allocate more time for technical training with additional mentorship hours by focusing more on group monitoring to motivate the team building skills. Restructuring the training contents of freelancer and soft skills to avoid duplication. Develop the curriculum of soft skills by emphasizing self-learning skills and it is recommended to include the top-rated courses in the e-work platforms such as block chains and Tensorflow, among others. It is also recommended to record videos for all technical training to insure higher reach, and to sponsor the advertisements on the social media websites.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

The design of the technical training courses was based on consultative approach facilitated by UNDP and the IPs, where flexibility was given to both IPs to reschedule the timeframe of the different technical trainings based on the distinct needs of each discipline. Self-learning was an integral part of the implementation, where trainees were introduced to online learning applications. Training courses were recorded via video and published online which enabled more interested trainees to access the delivered training courses.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Youth economic empowerment projects will consider: 1) allocating adequate time for technical training as well as coaching and mentorship; 2) including top-rated courses in the e-work platforms such as block chains and Tensorflow, among others
[Added: 2019/05/08] [Last Updated: 2019/06/25]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2019/06 Completed Evidence: Recording of Training Video Sessions History
8. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 8

Future interventions should increase female mentors in mentorship and coaching in order to ensure gender balance and involve women in e-work.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP urged IPs to ensure gender equality in the selection of beneficiaries, including mentors. However, a challenge of limited number of trainers in the specialized discipline was encountered. E-work intervention of phase II gave attention to female participants to encourage their engagement in online freelancing and to provide the market with qualified female trainers.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 E-work project to ensure gender equality among the trainees
[Added: 2019/05/08]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/06 Completed 50% of beneficiaries were female. (beneficiaries list available)
9. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 9

UNDP and IPs to run similar projects by consortium as long as the project was exercised though two partners, having consortium may add value to the project by encouraging partnership and sharing the experience. An exit strategy would also ensure smooth handover to IPs and contribute to sustainability

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP has supported high level cooperation and coordination between the implemented partners with the vision of enhancing partnership and knowledge exchange among the partners. Exit Strategy was also addressed by both partners

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
9.1. UNDP to establish a coordination mechanism as part of the implementation in future projects.
[Added: 2019/05/08] [Last Updated: 2019/05/16]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/06 Completed The action is completed but was mentioned as "in progress" in the signed management response because the coordination mechanism is an ongoing platform. History
10. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 10

UNDP can replicate the Virtual Majlis initiative while incorporating lessons learned and best practices. Taking into consideration the success of the Virtual Majlis, by allocating more human and financial resources to repeat the activity by involving more Gaza students to open dialogue with students from other cultures and countries. CSOs can play active role in leading the implementation of the Virtual Majlis, cultural dialogue and advocacy campaign to breakout the blockage imposed on the Gaza people.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP agrees with the recommendation that Virtual Majlis is a good model that worth replication, incorporating lessons learned. UNDP Dynamic Future Programme has already incorporated it

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
10.1 UNDP to incorporate Virtual Majlis as part of its educational programme through local CSOs
[Added: 2019/05/08] [Last Updated: 2019/06/25]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2019/06 Completed Evidence: Virtual Majles sessions during 2018 - 2019 History
11. Recommendation:

Recommendation or Issue 11

Explore funding opportunities to sustain the successful initiatives. Both UNDP and the donor could allocate more human and financial resources to ensure the continuation of beautification, by recruiting more experts to help implementation of activities at a wider manner

Management Response: [Added: 2019/05/08]

UNDP has already recruited an expert to support students in the design and implementation of beautification initiatives. Children and youth-lead initiatives will part of similar programmes.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
11.1 UNDP to include children and youth-led initiatives as part project design and implementation.
[Added: 2019/05/08]
Mahmoud Abu Aisha Hekmat Al Khairy 2018/06 Completed Participatory approach was adopted in the design of schools. This Youtube videos illustrate this excursive.

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