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Women and Civil Society: Capacity Building in Yemen

 | 
Maggy Grabundzija
, 
Blandine Destremau

Impact Assessment FSD I Projects Report

Maggy Grabundzija

Texte intégral

Acronyms

1CEFAS The French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences in Sana’a

2CSO Civil Society Organization

3EU European Union

4LAEO Literacy and Adult Education Organization

5LNGO Local Non-Governmental Organization

6NGO Non-Governmental Organization

7PCM Project Cycle Management

8SFD Social Fund for Development

9ToR Terms of References

Introduction

  • 1 Blandine Destremau (coordinator), Safa’a Rawiah, Antelak al-Mutawakel et Gabool al-Mutawakel, (YLD (...)
  • 2 As will be explained further on, the impact assessment did not fulfil those expectations.

10The Social Fund for Development (SFD) is a fund of the French Embassy in Yemen aimed at supporting women and vulnerable populations in becoming actors in development through the strengthening of civil society — where senior organizations support junior organizations. The SFD I (2005 – 2009) supported 18 projects, some of which were then evaluated1. The SFD I evaluation concluded that the financed projects participate in empowering women in the targeted rural areas. In addition to which, the idea of setting up a mechanism combining senior and junior associations to strengthen civil society was evaluated positively, even if, according to the report, institutionalizing associations turns out to be a long term process, also patronage can result in impeding the harmonious development of civil society. Moreover, one of the identified favourable factors in ensuring the project’s success is getting local authorities involved in local services. The evaluation report concludes that the literacy classes need the associations’ support, but that the overall success of the literacy centres “depends on other activities”. Finally, the evaluation will tackle a crucial issue, namely: what are the priorities to empowering women? Is it through the education sector or economic empowerment? SFD II directors expected the impact assessment report to answer those questions. Such answers could then be the guideline for the upcoming FSD II (2010-2011) project2. The French Embassy contracted the French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences in Sana’a (CEFAS) which in turn mandated a researcher-consultant to carry out the impact assessment.

11The impact assessment focused only on two out of the eighteen projects funded by FSD I: Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Basic Education Component), implemented by the Society for Development and Children (SOUL) and Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen, a community approach (Phase II), implemented by the SADA Society for Women. The current FSD II coordinator identified the projects and given regions where an impact assessment was to be carried out (as the two projects in question were implemented in two different areas).

12The projects were selected based on the different approaches they offered. The purpose of the impact assessment is to profit from this experience and identify which factors lead to specific results. If for SOUL its achievements and collaboration with juniors associations in Hadramawt are more relevant than in Hajjah due to local context — a culture of charity the report does not aim to rule on the issues at hand, but rather shed a light on the processes leading to certain specific results.

  • 3 A logical framework was not required in the SFD I application form but senior associations were re (...)

13The goal of Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Basic Education Component)3 is to “lead the way to the foundation of Yemen’s own competent & professional civil society, by enhancing the role of the local NGOs and helping them to evolve into a competent and comparable partner for other educational and developmental allies on the Yemeni scene”. The objectives are: “increasing the number of families wishing to send their girls to school, fighting against the widespread idea that girls’ education is not as important as boys’ one, increasing the number of female teachers, and improving their skills, improving the whole system of school to create an effective education”. The two-year project was divided up into two phases. The first phase, from 2006 to 2007, was devoted to improving the association’s skills, identifying the needs for girl’s education in each targeted district and coming up with a joint action plan with each partner. The second phase from 2007 to 2008 focused on activities towards the implementation of the said plan. These phases were implemented both in Hajjah and in Hadramawt governorates.

  • 4 SOUL’s application was in French, the goals stated are my own translation.

14The overall objective of Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen, a Community Wide Effort (Phase II)4 is to help girls from rural areas and districts of Hodeidah and al-Mahweet governorates to integrate the school, specifically through strengthening local associations working on girl’s education promotion”. The specific objectives are: “to sensitize the families and actors of the civil society about the importance of girls’ education, to offer afterschool follow-up and preparatory courses addressed to young girls wishing to integrate the classical school, to participate to fight against illiteracy in opening literacy classes for women, to enhance the administrative and financial capacities of members of 9 junior associations involved in the project”. SADA had been previously supported by the French Embassy on a similar project between May 2005 and May 2006, which was in fact the initial phase of the project. The two year project, i. e. the second phase, broadened the scope of the first phase and was also implemented in the governorates of Hodeidah and al-Mahweet.

15The two projects offer similar objectives as they aim at improving LNGO capacities, as they were the ones supporting girls’ education. Also, in both projects, the first and second beneficiaries are identical, even if they do play different roles depending on the project proposals. The Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program defined civil society organizations as the first beneficiaries. Therefore, strengthening their capacities was the project’s main objective while improving girls’ education was the main objective of SADA’s project.

16Because of the similarities in their objectives, the two projects’ activities were related as capacity building was aimed at LNGOs, organizing awareness campaigns, setting up literacy classes and supporting teachers. However, each project has its own specificities. The two projects had different timelines. If Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen was about to end while the impact assessment was carried out, Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program was completed nearly two years prior to that. Therefore, in the case of the former, one would expect a short-term impact assessment and the latter giving rise to a more long term assessment. Data collected during the interviews regarding critiques about the activities implemented through SOUL’s project is blurry in people’s minds. The report lacks in information but provides an insight into long-term change.

  • 5 The two weeks were divided as following: from the 20th to the 27th of April in Hajjah governorate (...)
  • 6 See appendix 1.

17The following report is an impact assessment carried out for the two projects. A week of fieldwork for each project was conducted in governorates of Hajjah (SOUL’s project) and Hodeidah (SADA’s project) from 20th April to 4th June 20105. 64 female beneficiaries — mainly students from the literacy centres — and 27 association representatives along with key representatives of the local community — sheikhs, local authority representatives, education sector representatives, parents’ councils, teachers — were interviewed in 5 different districts — 3 in Hajjah (Hajjah, Shahel, Beni Qais) and 2 in Hodeidah (Marawi’a and Bajil). The methodology of the impact assessment was approved by the French Embassy before its implementation. The panel of interviewees — individual or group discussions — was broadened and targeted the three groups mentioned above. Interviews were conducted according to a guideline made up of open questions (see the Term of References6) in adherence with the qualitative method used to carry out the impact assessment.

  • 7 Other aspects can be reviewed in the impact such as the contribution towards poverty reduction; an (...)

18Impact assessment, according to the European Union’s definition of the word, is not only based about “impact”. According to it, the term “impact” is the relationship between the project’s specific and overall objectives. Thus, impact turns out to be an analysis of different aspects: to what extent have the objectives of the project been achieved as intended, especially the planned overall objective of the project, and the actual effects of the project facilitated/constrained by external factors? Did they cause any unintended or unexpected impacts and, if so, how have those affected the overall impact? Have they made a difference in terms of crosscutting issues such as gender equality, the environment, good governance, conflict prevention, etc.? Have they been facilitated/constrained by project/programme management, by co-ordination arrangements, by the participation of relevant stakeholders? Have they contributed to economic and social development7? All these aspects will be analysed in the following report. However, the impact assessment alone cannot provide us with a general idea of the projects, or whether the activities’ impact is perceptible. Therefore, the report had to combine the activities’ relevance and effectiveness as part of the project’s sustainability. Thus, even though the report is not an evaluation of the project, it does provide an insight into different evaluation aspects.

19Based on the overall and specific objectives of this project, it is difficult to carry out an impact assessment because it would mean evaluating a shift in terms of behaviour and/or mind set. This report intends to shed some light on the impact in such areas. However, it cannot be expected to offer a comprehensive analysis as only one methodology was implemented to carry out the fieldwork — due to the lack of time — and awareness regarding girls’ education is the result of a combined effort between broader public policy on girls’ education and the fight against illiteracy which tends to blur the associations’ specific output.

20The following impact assessment evaluates the impact of the two projects in the same section, after an analysis of the field work methodology.

1- Methodology

21The field work methodology is the same for both projects. The following sections are divided up into: literacy centres, interviewee sample, interview guidelines, duration and location of the interviews and limits to the methodology.

Literacy Centres

  • 8 Asma School (Beni Qais).
  • 9 In the district of Shahel, no literacy centres have been supported. The names of the visited centr (...)
  • 10 The association deduced that literacy courses were not needed anymore once an all-girl school open (...)
  • 11 Beni Qais is located an hour away from Hajjah city. But Shahel is a five hour drive from the city. (...)

22Among the main partners of the two projects are the literacy centres. Five districts, three in the Hajjah governorate (Hajjah and Shahel, Beni Qais) and two in the Hodeidah governorate (Marawi’a and Bajil) were inspected, 9 literacy centres, and a skills course8 in 4 districts9. In each district the partner association ran several literacy centres, of which four centres targeted In Marawi’a district and two in Bajil. Regarding SOUL’s project, during the project’s implementation, seven literacy centres were opened up in the district of Hajjah and three more in Beni Qais down to two by the end of the project10. Between a day and a half and two days were spent in each literacy centre11.

  • 12 Thus, the program for literacy classes is adapted to illiterates but the subjects studied are the (...)

23The literacy centres are under the responsibility of the Literacy and Adult Education Organization (LAEO). The LAEO is a technical agency reporting to the Ministry of Education. The organization is autonomous in terms of funding and administration. The mission statement of the LAEO is, with its numerous branches, to lay down the policy, planning, implementation and evaluation of literacy and adult programs12. The goal of the literacy centres is to help students who have never studied or have dropped out from school to integrate the regular school system. Thus, literacy class programs are made up of subjects taught to the students from 1st to 6th grade (Arabic grammar, geography, history, mathematics, Koranic interpretation, the Koran, health basics, civic education…). Every year, students in literacy classes have to study the equivalent of two grades from the regular school curriculum. Half of the first year is devoted to 1st grade and the second half to 2nd grade. The first half of the second year is dedicated to 3rd grade, the second half to 4th grade, and so forth. The literacy cycle lasts three years. During this time, students go through the equivalent of six years from the programs taught in regular school. Not only is the school year shorter in the centres — six months October to April while regular school is from September till June — but so is also the number of teaching hours a day — only two hours (and only in the afternoons). At the end of each year the students have to take an exam and a diploma is awarded. The LAEO suffers from a lack of funding. Therefore, the structure cannot afford to have as many centres as it would need, nor to provide the required amount of teachers — who are currently mostly volunteers.

  • 13 Isolation is often understood in terms of a lack of infrastructures: roads, water, supplying elect (...)
  • 14 For instance, according to the LAEO head in Bajil, the identified literacy centres were too small (...)

24Regarding the implementation of the project’s activities, literacy centres in the district were selected by the partner association themselves without any discussion with the head of the LAEO prior to the implementation of the project. However, the association collaborated with LAEO representatives who, in turn, provided data on the situation of female illiteracy in the different districts. The low female literacy rate — often linked to the villages’ isolation13 was considered by the associations as the most pertinent criteria for deciding where to open up literacy centres. The criteria were sometimes — but not always discussed with the head of the LAEO. In fact, some of the associations based their choice on altogether different criteria, such as: villagers being committed to the literacy centres, centres that are easily accessible or with suitable space (adapted classroom size)14. The intention of the LAEO representatives was to create a successful model for literacy centres which would encourage other villagers to join in the fight against illiteracy.

  • 15 Khalifa students (Hodeidah) refused to study on the primary school premises, located next to the r (...)
  • 16 This was not the case in Beni Qais where the literacy centres were set up close to the villages.

25The state of the said centres differs from one governorate to another. For instance, literacy classes can be hosted in primary schools or in secondary schools15. In Hajjah governorate the schools and literacy centres are less numerous and more spread out in the mountains. Which means, students have to walk up to an hour — through the mountains to get to the centre16, while in Hodeidah governorate and in Marawi’a, three literacy centres (out of four in all) were set up in a village providing accommodation for students coming from the same area. Only one of them gathered students from the villages around. Also, the three literacy centres are set up a short distance from one another. In Bajil, the walking distance to the two literacy centres is no more than 15 minutes for the students (and only few minutes for most of them).

  • 17 The literacy centres in Marawi’a were older and already had literacy classes set up before the pro (...)

26The literacy centres are all furnished — either by the school, via SFD I and SFD II or the Social Fund for Development. The literacy centres supported by the projects were supposed to offer three levels of literacy classes, which is not the case for all of them, such as the district of Bajil17 where SFD I only supported a two-year project.

  • 18 This statement will be explained in the following development.
  • 19 A Sheikh in Bajil distributed incentives to the men (flour) to encourage them to study which turne (...)
  • 20 This issue will be discussed in the following development.

27Literacy courses are considered a woman’s issue. Women need to be literate which is not perceived by society as being a male need18. Therefore, literacy centres — in the targeted districts are not aimed at males, except for Bajil district where 4 classes are devoted to them — with a male teacher, in non-mixed classrooms19. According to LAEO managers in Bajil and in other districts, males hardly ever express their desire to study in literacy centres — but that does not mean they do not want to. If literacy courses are considered a woman’s issue then the teacher also has to be a female20. Very few of the teachers in the literacy centres come from the village where they teach. Therefore, teachers have to move from one area to another which is a factor of absenteeism due to the lack of road infrastructure in rural areas — and especially in the selected areas. The lack of teachers in rural areas is also the result of the low girls’ education rate — especially in the targeted villages. Finally, according to the centres, the number of female students in the classes differs depending on the levels taught. If the average classroom has around 30 students — more in the first year than in the second —, in some areas such as in Bajil the figures can double.

28If the great majority of the literacy centres visited provide only literacy courses, the Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program project aimed at improving other skills such as sewing classes. The activity was implemented only in Asma School in Beni Qais and, up to this day, the students still benefit from the training.

29In conclusion, literacy centres are under the umbrella of the LAEO, a partner in the project’s implementation aiming to support students to integrate the regular school curriculum after a three-year program. The associations selected the location of the literacy centres, based on the criteria of the villages’ isolation and, in Hodeidah, their proximity to one another, while they are far apart from each other in Hajjah governorate. The literacy centres are established in schools, furnished and host a high number of female students (around 30) which is a sure sign of the initiative’s success.

Sample of Interviewees

  • 21 The ToR were not designed for this assessment being initially aimed at broader project panels.

30The Terms of References (ToR)21 established different targeted groups: women beneficiaries — in the context of the projects that covers female students in the literacy classes, associations’ members and key community representatives. The three targeted groups will be discussed further on.

a- Female Students Beneficiaries

  • 22 In this article their names have been changed deliberately in order to preserve their anonymity.

3164 girls and women have been interviewed22 30 in Hajjah governorate and 34 in Hodeidah governorate. The numbers differ slightly from what would be expected in the ToR, in which 30 interviews of female beneficiaries were planned, due to the change in the interview modality which favoured group discussion — between two or three females — as the following table displays:

Table 1: Breakdown of interviews based on district
(1 Asma School and al-Bul’usse;2 al-Djanad and al-Nagd;3 Asma School, Mahd al-Awsat — 1 in 3 groups — 5 groups of 2 for both, and one individual in Khalifa;4 Muhsan Dhanat and Dir al-Djabalia 2, respectively 2 and 3 groups of 2.)

32The reason for such an approach is often due to the young age of female interviewees. Interviewing two persons helps to create, to a certain extent, a friendly environment.

33In addition to which, no interviews of girls/women were carried out in Shahel district (Hajjah) as only awareness campaigns were implemented. This explains why the number of female interviewees in Hajjah is lower than in Hodeidah governorate.

  • 23 On the chart in appendix 2, teachers are mentioned as beneficiaries. This is because, as part of t (...)
  • 24 Female age is sometimes approximate as they do not always know their date of birth. This statement (...)

34The details about female interviewees are presented in appendix 2. The two following tables will give an analytical presentation of the figures regarding female interviewees in literacy classes. Table 2 presents the female interviewees’ average age — in the literacy classes23/24.

Table 2: Average age of female students in literacy centres based on location and governorates

  • 25 Information gathered from the chart in appendix 2.

35According to table 2, the age average can be as much as twofold from one area to another — e. g. al-Djanad (16 years old) and al-Bul’usse (31 years old). Due to a lack of time, it was not possible to investigate the reasons behind such a disparity in the figures. Therefore, no hypothesis regarding this matter will be formulated in this report. Table 325 offers more precise figures on the female interviewees’ age repartition.

Table 3: Age repartition of female interviewees
(5 The total is 61, not 64, as 3 women benefited from the sewing courses and not the literacy classes. Therefore, they are not accounted in this table.)

36Table 3 shows that the age of female students attending literacy classes goes from 14 to over 35. Currently, girls from the age of 10 onwards are allowed to attend literacy classes but have not been interviewed. Moreover, one third of the females are below the age of 17, another third between 17 and 20 and the remaining third over the age of 20. In other words, two third of the female students are above the age of 20. 27 out of the 61 female students are married — 8 of them married at the age of 20 (7 of them have children), no girl below that age is married though. The figures show that the majority of the girls interviewed have no family responsibilities. The chart (featured in appendix 2) shows that less than half of the female interviewees (28 out of 61) were enrolled in the regular school system, then gave up in average during 3rd grade. Thus, females taking literacy classes have already been to school.

  • 26 It is possible if the girl finishes third year in the literacy classes which was the case.
  • 27 Their interview would have been relevant if the point had been the impact on the female environmen (...)

37A great majority of the interviews targeted girls who had got to second or third year. It has been mentioned by various directors — in various targeted districts — that the female dropout rate is higher the first year and less the following years. However, according to literacy centre directors and teachers, every year — between the second and third level between 5-10% of the girls drop out from the courses for various reasons (marriage, pregnancy, looking after their new-born, moving to a different location…). Six interviews of female students having dropped out from the literacy courses have been carried out — exclusively within the project Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen, the second project having already ended, making it difficult to interview a beneficiary who had left the literacy classes three years earlier. Interviewing female dropouts was a condition of the ToR. Lastly, tables 2 and 3 were based on the total numbers of female interviewees, minus three women who only benefited from skills activities taking place in Asma School (Beni Qais). The women interviewed in the Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Hajjah) are currently taking literacy classes, formerly supported by the project. However, not all of them were beneficiaries of the project during its implementation26. Finally, no men were interviewed. The ToR called for interviewing men only if the budget allowed it, which was not the case27.

38In conclusion, 61 female students currently taking literacy classes or having dropped out have been interviewed in group discussions, mostly. They are aged between 14 and 40. The population interviewed is young as two thirds are 20 years-old or less, and mostly single. The selection reflects the diversity of average ages, as well as the diversity of the female students’ levels (from the first to the third level).

b- Partner Associations

  • 28 In the project proposal presented by SADA, Bajil Association is mentioned in the district of al-Ma (...)

39The Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Hajjah) selected three associations to implement its project: al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development (Beni Qais), the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development (Hajjah district), al-Shahel Society for Women (al-Shahel). The project on Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen (Hodeidah) selected four organizations to implement project activities: Wadi Siham Cooperative (al-Marawi’a), Barqoqa Association (al-Marawi’a), al-Marawa Association (al-Marawi’a) and Bajil Association (Bajil28). SOUL and SADA choose the partner associations (how many and which ones).

  • 29 In the Final Technical Report the information given is different. It is asserted that Siham cooper (...)
  • 30 If in the field, the director of SADA informed me about this issue, in the Final Technical Report (...)
  • 31 For instance, one of the members, a sheikh was first introduced — and presented himself as a key (...)

40For SADA project, the numbers of targeted associations decreased during the implementation phase. In fact, despite SADA’s assertion in its Final Technical Report on the participation of all the associations mentioned in the project proposal29, in the field it has been noticed that Wadi Siham cooperative never was associated with the project and that the association “Barqoqa” has suffered from internal issues and is currently re-registering under another name30. However, some of its members did take part actively in the activities — as key community representatives, not as activities implementers31. In fact, field work showed that only two associations were officially partners (Marawi’a association and Bajil association).

  • 32 Their mission is to register the associations.
  • 33 The criteria of selection are: officially registered and certified by the Ministry of Social Affai (...)

41SOUL and SADA both went for a different approach. If the first association preferred working with fewer associations and more districts (2), SADA focused on fewer districts (2), predominantly the district of Marawi’a, with more associations (4). The different approaches might be due to both associations’ prior experiences. From 2006 to 2007, SADA was supported by the French Embassy regarding the girls’ education project, also, the cooperative of Siham was already its partner. The decision to extend the project to Bajil, according to SADA, is due to identified needs. SOUL proceeded differently, asking first the Social Affairs Office (a branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs32) in Hajjah to provide them with a list of active associations in the governorate. Out of the ten associations presented by the Social Affairs Office, SOUL selected three33.

  • 34 The coordinator is a member of her family (among the most important Sheikh family in the area).

42The targeted associations are registered and have an office. A majority of them are based in rural areas where they have been implementing the project activities — but they did not all know beforehand the targeted literacy centres and villages around. The only exception is the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development. This association is based in the city but implements its activities in selected villages in Hajjah district. In addition to this, all the activities via the selected associations are coordinated by men — even in the case of the al-Shahel Society for Women, run by a woman34 as are all their active members. This feature demonstrates it is difficult to support the involvement of women in CSO’s — especially in a decision-making position which are still run by men, even for projects mainly targeting women.

43The nature of the organizations differs depending on the projects. In Hajjah, al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development are charitable associations while the al-Shahel Society for Women has only some activities in this field. In other words, the associations did not show lengthy experience in project development. The associations in Hodeidah were more involved in the development field. Bajil association’s field of work focuses on the disabled population — with a centre for them and Siham association is the only one with prior experience in literacy awareness and supporting literacy classes. In general, the associations had to learn about those issues through the implementation of the project. Finally, prior to taking part in the projects, the associations had already implemented projects of their own with a limited budget.

44The ToR called for 2 members from each association to be interviewed. Few of the associations managed to do so. In fact, only the Marawi’a Association and the Bajil Association did. For projects implemented in Hajjah, active members had either left the association in the meantime (Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development), or the members present had not been involved in the implementation of the activities (al-Shahel Society for Women) or the members involved simply were not available (al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development).

45In conclusion, the selected associations are most of them either based and/or working in rural areas where they implemented project activities. These are established organizations (not new comers). Although the associations did know the local context quite well, in general, they had only limited prior experience in the field of girls’ education — awareness, support to literacy classes… — or no experience at all in the field of development at the beginning of the project’s implementation.

c- Key Representatives of the Local Community

46Table 4 shows the number of key representatives from the local community interviewed in each governorate and district.

Table 4: Key representatives of the local community interviewed
(6 The number of people encountered is higher. Indeed, interviews of this group were carried out with a number of other people — assistant to the school director, other employees in the educational sector. People who took part in the interviews also participated by adding to the information provided here; 7 GTZ is leading a project on education with a specific concern to girls’ education but not on literacy classes.)

47As displayed in table 4, 27 key representatives of the local community have been interviewed for both projects (20 in Hajjah and 7 in Hodeidah). The number is much higher than required by the ToR (5 per project), especially for the project implemented in Hajjah governorate, due to various factors. First, the Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Hajjah) included more actors on the projects — such as the parents’ councils or Local Councils as they were fully functional in 3 districts (and 2 for SADA’s project). In addition to this, in Shahel district there was no direct support for literacy classes but awareness campaigns were organized. The awareness campaigns’ impact has not been assessed — as it is a very delicate issue, especially two years after the project has ended. Also, time did not allow us to carry out any fieldwork on this point. However, I interviewed part of the targeted persons, such as the headmasters, teachers, members of the parents’ councils and of the Local Councils.

48The selection of interviewed persons was decided by each association based on certain predefined criteria. The key representatives from the local communities encompass different groups more or less involved in the two projects, but none of them were external to them. For instance, the teachers benefited from training provided by the projects. The parents’ councils were among the targets of the awareness campaigns and supported the implementation of the activities. Therefore, all the persons from the key representatives were actors in the projects and able to answer the questions as defined in the guidelines.

49The education sector was very much involved among the targeted key representatives of the local community. As mentioned before, the two projects implemented their activities with the support of the LAEO head at a governorate or at a district level. In addition to the education sector, I interviewed the headmaster as well as the representatives of the Ministry of Education at the district level.

50The last group of key representatives belongs to the political or leading body. Sheikhs or Local Councils members were among the targeted population in awareness campaigns or were sometimes associated with the implementation of the activities.

51In conclusion, a high number of persons among the key representatives were interviewed in order to reflect the diversity of actors involved in the two projects — even if special attention was given to the education sector and to have a better understanding of the activities’ impact.

Interview Guidelines

52Each interview was carried out according to guidelines exclusively made up of open questions (not counting the sociological figure when interviewing female students). Defining guidelines and themes is an appropriate way to lead an interview aimed at turning into a discussion. The qualitative approach appeared to be the most appropriate methodology for impact assessment, and which could lead to a relevant analysis.

53The ToR offered different guidelines depending on the interviewed persons. This section will be divided up based on the three groups already defined.

a- Female Student Beneficiaries

  • 35 See the ToR which developed each theme.
  • 36 As already mentioned, the guidelines were set up before the projects were chosen and some themes d (...)

54The guideline was divided up into 5 main themes35: choosing the organization, frequency of activities, evaluation of the activities, impact of the activities, need assessment. Some of the themes were not adapted to the literacy courses36, such as the choice of the organization and the frequency of the activities. In fact, the literacy centres were rare and news of literacy classes opening quickly spread around the villages. Therefore, a specific focus was given to the last three themes and issues raised by the students themselves were added in.

55Two themes already mentioned in the ToR were to be developed: the evaluation and the impact. In the evaluation of the literacy classes, other questions were added, such as: teacher capacity, course schedules, material provided (books in terms of quantity and quality) and teaching conditions (weather, distance to the literacy centres).

  • 37 This question was exclusively addressed to students who had never been to school before the litera (...)
  • 38 Those questions were only asked if electricity was supplied in the area.
  • 39 After which, I would often ask if their husbands, fathers or other members of the family were lite (...)

56In addition, the questions inscribed in the impact of the literacy classes had to be developed, such as: How did you feel when you entered the school for the first time37? Do you know how to write your name? What else? Are you able to read books, newspapers, understand the news on TV or series38? Do you have a better understanding of conversations around you (as in, conversations with your husband39)?

  • 40 This question was asked only in Hajjah district because incentives had been given to students in t (...)
  • 41 If so, do you go to visit them for certain events?

57The motivations of the students were among the main themes added to the previous guideline: Why did you want to go to literacy classes? What is your ambition once you are done? What do you prefer as an incentive: money or learning skills40? Did you make new friend (s) at the literacy classes41?

58In carrying out the interviews I added a theme linked with the female students’ environment as it was raised by the students themselves: Do you get any support from your family (who precisely?), friends or neighbours to learn how to read and write (how, where and when?)? What is your family’s opinion about the literacy courses you are taking? How do you organize yourself to take these literacy courses?

59Last of all, the question dealing with identifying needs (and gender relations) was difficult because the girls and women did not react to it much. It had been decided to give more practical questions than defined in the ToR, such as: what is a priority for you: education, health, water supply, electricity supply…? Even such practical questions were difficult to answer for teenagers or women because the questions did not fit in with the overall objective of the interview — some of the interviewed wondered about the purpose of raising such general questions. In fact, this issue requires specific investigation.

60In conclusion, the final guideline addressed to the female interviewees encompassed a higher number of questions and more adapted to the implemented projects than ToR defined. In addition, as the guidelines themselves leaded to a discussion, some questions do not appear in the added questions to this report. Indeed, the interviews’ approach was very flexible — in keeping the same common questions defined in the guideline. Last of all, several questions refer to the female students’ feelings or their own representations, their situation… Which makes analysing the answers more delicate — requires to focus on the student’s words, yet to be cautious in the formulation of any hypothesis.

b- Associations

61The guideline defined in the ToR for the associations did not change during field work. The three defined themes were: setting up the current project, its analysis, and the question of future projects, all were kept as they were.

62Only one theme was added concerning their analysis about the training provided for by the associations (SOUL and SADA): the organization and duration of the training, the trainers’ capacities and what they get out of the training.

c- Key Representatives from the Local Community

63As mentioned for the female students’ guidelines, several questions contained in the guideline for key representatives had to be added — substantially changing its structure. Putting these questions in was in response to the diversity of the persons interviewed and especially due to the fact that they were more or less actors in the implementation of the projects (benefited from trainings).

  • 42 This question was addressed only to LAEO representatives.

64A specific guideline for educational sector representatives had to be set up (managers at the education office, headmasters, LAEO district or governorate head office representatives). The description of the educational situation was the main theme raised: a breakdown of the students enrolled in the region — boys and girls (as well as the number of literacy classes and of women involved), percentage of illiterates (with a demand for male literacy courses?), the population represented in the literacy courses, reasons for girls dropping out and possible solutions to this problem, plans regarding the education sector for the coming years, their opinion about the activities in the literacy centres (selection criteria)42, priorities in education.

65The teachers as part of the beneficiaries had specific interview guidelines raising different issues: training (organization and duration of the training, trainers, expectations from the training and what they got out of it (changing the way they teach)), student figures in their literacy classes (numbers, their age), their analysis of the students’ interest (motivation and the level of the students in literacy classes? Special difficulties the students faced in learning (how to overcome these handicaps?), and reasons for students dropping out.

66The questions addressed to the parents’ councils dealt with the role of the council (management, problems faced by students…), the activities implemented through the project and the support afforded by the association. Last of all, the interview guideline was reproduced as it was for Local Council members or sheikhs.

67In conclusion, the guidelines for key representatives in the local community were adapted to reflect the variety of targeted groups and considerably expanded to reflect the complexity of the project activities.

  • 43 The women were sitting in the only room of the literacy centre.
  • 44 In my personal experience, having carried out, for years, such interviews in Yemeni homes, the rel (...)

68The interviews never lasted over an hour — as the majority of the interviews were group discussions. They were carried out the mornings and in the afternoons at the literacy centres. Having the students all in one place was more practical in terms of logistics — as the women in Hajjah walked long distances to get to the school. A classroom was devoted to interviews or, when all the classrooms were occupied, chairs would be taken to an isolated place in the playground — and once the interview took place in a sheikh’s home. Female student interviews were carried out without any external presence — except in al-Bul’usse43 whereas several observers would attend community leader interviews. Generally speaking, it proved to be almost impossible to enter students’ homes44 to conduct the interviews except for one village in the Marawi’a district.

Limits to the Methodology

69The methodology presents certain limits which could influence the gathering of information and thus the analysis of the impact assessment.

70The representativeness of the final beneficiaries’ panel may be questioned. In fact, the female students interviewed are not strictly representative of literacy class attendance. The age of the females interviewed is biased as those below the age of 14 were not interviewed. However, in Marawi’a district, girls between the ages of 10 to 15 represented 15% of the literacy classes’ population (Hodeidah) in 2008-2009, for instance. The reason behind this limitation is that it is delicate to carry out an interview with a 10 year-old girl, especially in the short period of time allowed for the interview. In addition, the guideline was based on a critical approach from the students which can be difficult to obtain from young girls — as is also sometimes the case with older girls.

71Moreover, the statistics afforded for Marawi’a literacy classes show that the average age repartition is more equally distributed than with females interviewed in the impact assessment field work — those below the age of 20 represent 30%, those between the ages of 21 and 30, 38% and above the age of 31, 26% of attendance. If it seems that the panel of interviewed students is distorted — because those below the age of 14 are not represented and some age categories overrepresented —, the diversity of the students’ average age is preserved. However, it is not easy to figure out the reasons to such distortions. Among those is the attendance itself. As mentioned earlier, some literacy centres attract younger females than others and the reasons to that are specific to the local context.

  • 45 I decided not to stay more than a day in each literacy centre in order to avoid this bias. In fact (...)
  • 46 As mentioned before a small majority of girls had already studied which is not the case of the eld (...)
  • 47 For instance, in al-Bul’usse the interviews were difficult to carry out as the women were reluctan (...)

72In addition, the selection of female interviewees showed a serious bias. In fact, I hardly had anything to do with choosing the women to be interviewed and left it up to the teachers in most cases. However, instructions were given: no girl younger than 14 and different levels of students. The last condition was expressly specified on my side when it appeared that only the best students were allowed to talk45. It was obvious that the selection presented the most motivated females in the literacy classes. In this case, older women were not part of the selection as they faced more difficulties in learning46 and would not give a good image of the courses. In addition to this argument, choosing the women was a sensitive topic. The teachers selected females attending the classes and had to choose the ones who were the most talkative, and would not be intimidated by a foreigner asking questions47.

73Also, in the ToR, the representativeness of the female interviewees was not a condition in carrying out the impact assessment.

74As mentioned before, priority was given to the students in the second and third years of the literacy classes. It is worth mentioning that in some classes half the students dropped out between the first and second year. Thus, selecting second and third year students might help shed more light on the most motivated students in literacy classes. Several reasons might explain this. Regarding the project in Hajjah, we were allowed to interview students who had been benefiting from the project since the beginning. Also, as the mission aimed to analyse the impact of the literacy classes, it appeared more adequate to focus on this group and their ambitions. Finally, the first year students were not totally overlooked in the selection as they were the main target in Bajil district, for instance.

75The following report does not offer a comprehensive impact assessment of the activities. The reason is that the awareness campaign is among the main activities implemented by both projects. Carrying out an impact assessment on awareness campaigns is very delicate — as the changing results make it difficult to get a real measurement — and would have required targeting other population groups, especially among the villagers. Therefore, this method would have been time-consuming. Moreover, focusing on the students from the literacy centres appeared to be one of the projects’ priorities as part of the goal to strengthen the partner associations’ skills. These two aspects were the main issues reviewed in this impact assessment.

  • 48 The planning of the field work was decided nearly a month in advance, with the agreement of the as (...)
  • 49 An association member was interviewed but had partial knowledge of the project’s activities.
  • 50 He accompanied me to other districts such as Bajil, even if it was not under his authority.
  • 51 In addition to this, as will be discussed in the following development, the written project lacked (...)
  • 52 Also, none of the different literacy centres visited offered preparatory classes.

76In addition to this, the field work was difficult to carry out in Marawi’a. In fact, the association coordinator in charge of the implementation of the main activities in Marawi’a (Marawi’a association) could not attend48. No representatives of the association could support me during the field work, nor explain the projects and its activities49. The LAEO district representative was helpful on a daily base and explained several of the project’s aspects50. However, the impact assessment analysis suffered from the absence of the main partner association as the LAEO representative was able to present most of the activities but was not aware of the overall project51. As a consequence, the LAEO representative was well informed regarding the literacy classes, some of the teachers’ training, and the awareness campaigns, but less knowledgeable when it came to the preparatory classes and all the training related to this activity. Therefore, the field work could not properly assess the training activities addressed to the teachers. This was done briefly by interviewing two teachers from the literacy classes — while more of them should have been interviewed, targeting in particular the method used for preparatory classes. In addition to this, the project proposal did not provide any information to help carry out the impact assessment52. Finally, the impact of the preparatory classes (mainly summer classes) aimed at 6 to 8 year-old girls was not evaluated as the girls that age were removed from the targeted groups.

77The methodology based on guidelines has its limits regarding impact assessment. In fact, this method gives more information in terms of quality than quantity. Which is why the number of students interviewed and actors involved in the projects may appear low.

78In conclusion, during the field of work I tried to limit the inherent bias in the methodological approach by selecting different profiles among the literacy class students and focusing on the most easily discernible impacts of the activities — thereby avoiding awareness campaigns. The following impact assessment might suffer from a lack of analysis especially concerning SADA’s project due to internal issues with the main association partner.

2- Impact Assessment

79Analysing the activities’ impact would be confusing without a rapid review and comment of SOUL’s and SADA’s projects proposals and their final reports. After which, the implemented activities and their impact will be dealt with, along with the different targeted groups. As the two projects show strong similarities, they will be dealt with together in each of the following sections.

Project Proposals and Activities Accomplished

  • 53 The French Embassy only had a few documents in its possession, only the project proposal and no Fi (...)
  • 54 The efficiency will be properly reviewed in the following section on the impact assessment activit (...)

80This section will present the project proposals and the final reports commented53 regarding their relevance, effectiveness and the 114 question of their only partial efficiency and sustainability54. SFD I funded two projects presented by SOUL, Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Basic Education Component) — 2006 – 2007 and Promoting Girl’s Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program — February 2007 to 30 June 2008. The first phase aimed to identify three partner associations, training them and preparing the implementation phase (by assessing the situation regarding girls’ education in each district and coming up with an action plan for each association); and the second phase to support the implementation of the activities regarding girl’s education. The impact assessment focused on the second phase.

a- Promoting Girls’ Education Through Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program

Objectives of the projects

81SOUL’s project defined general objectives for the project (focusing on Hajjah and Hadramawt governorates), these were:

  • Increasing the number of families wishing to send their girls to school
  • Fighting against the widespread idea that girls’ education is not as important as boys’
  • Increasing the number of female teachers, and improving their skills
  • Improving the whole school system to create an effective education.
  • 55 The objectives are reproduced from the Project identification, p. 7, 9 and 11.

82In the project proposal each association had specific objectives which are developed in table 5 where the different objectives are mentioned depending on the associations (A1, A2, A3)55

Table 5: Repartition of the objectives depending on the partner associations
(8 Association 1: al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development;9 Association 2: Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development;10 Association 3: al-Shahel Society for Women.)

83The general project objectives match the specifics objectives. In fact, the project objectives focus on the educational system and especially improving girls’ enrolment in school. In the specific objectives defined for the three associations, the strong interest for girls’ enrolment in the regular educational system is confirmed — with the sole concern of eradicating illiteracy among females.

84The specific objectives do raise some questions. In fact, one may wonder if they could have been implemented within the timeframe of a year and half. For instance, can illiteracy among girls really be abolished, or can the number of girls enrolled in primary education really be increased within such a short period of time?

  • 56 The report does not mention the specific objective could not be reached, and does not mention any (...)

85Finally, project objective number 4 (decrease the number of primary and high school female dropouts...) could not be implemented by the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development (A2) as they had no activity linked with this objective (see the Final Technical Report56).

Activities

  • 57 The budget provided for each association was defined according to their action plans. It is not th (...)
  • 58 The activities are reproduced from the Project identification, p. 7-12.

86During the first phase of the project each association assessed the girls’ educational situation in their district and identified the appropriate activities to remedy this situation. After this first step, each association had to set up an action plan57. The following chart (table 6) displays the 6 identified activities (for each association) which have been partly or fully implemented58:

Table 6: Repartition of activities depending on the partner associations
(11 al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development;12 Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development;13 al-Shahel Society for Women.)

  • 59 Those figures do not even appear in the Final Technical Report.

87As an introductory remark, the activities are rarely specific in terms of figures — in terms of awareness sessions, persons reached out to through the sessions, the frequency of the non-class activities and number of students involved, number of bathrooms to be built, of student beneficiaries of literacy classes59

  • 60 Their number varies depending on the association in charge, 20 for al-Shahel Society for Women and (...)

88The awareness campaigns were made up of the same activities for all the associations, to: “hold workshops for mosques’ preachers and community leaders, hold several meetings with decision makers and related parts to advocate some issues that enhance girls’ education in the area, lectures for teachers and parent councils, hold awareness sessions60 addressed to women and their daughters, distribute brochures, flyers, posters... to promote the campaign, get media coverage in the radio and local magazine, involve female and male students in the campaigns through non-class activities in schools”.

89The awareness campaigns targeted a large panel of the local population in different ways with workshops, sessions, media coverage and the use of non-class activities to reach out to the students. The designing of the awareness campaign activities leads to a few remarks or questions. The activities that come under the name of awareness campaigns are wider and encompass advocacy — addressed to the Local Councils. However, no training of any kind to prepare the associations to fulfil their mission was ever included in the project proposal, nor in its implementation. Second, why were the awareness sessions in the sub-districts were addressed to only women and girls? Would a gender approach not have been more efficient?

  • 61 7 for al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and 2 for Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity an (...)

90Under the activity “open literacy classes”, the project proposal identifies several tasks, to: “find place (location) for these classes, contract with teachers61, provide the curriculum in coordination with the LAEO representative, coordinate with Productive Families Program to improve the vocational skills of the enrolled girls, encourage through incentives for those enrolled in literacy classes”

  • 62 The reasons for this will be discussed in the next section.

91The designed activity was based on the idea that students in literacy classes have to be encouraged to pursue their training. Vocational skills and incentives were the two envisioned mechanisms in order to attract female students to the literacy centres. If the latter idea was hardly ever implemented62, the following section will discuss the notion of the necessity to implement incentive measures in order to attract the students to the literacy centres.

92The non-class activities encompass: “training course for teachers on how to create motivating non-class activities for female students in 5 schools in the district, provide the target schools with the needed equipment for the non-class activities”. If the targets of the non-class activities are clearly female, it was not quite so clear during the awareness campaigns which were aimed at both male and female. Who was the target of this activity which clearly aimed to implement objective number 4 i. e. participating in reducing the female dropout rate in schools and high schools? However, it appeared during the field work that this activity was rarely implemented by al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and al-Shahel Society for Women, despite assertions to the contrary in the Final Technical Report.

  • 63 See the Project identification, p. 4, objective number 3: ‘Increasing the number of female teacher (...)
  • 64 See the Project identification, p. 8 point number 2 in the activities: ‘Fence two schools in and b (...)

93Al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development was the only association to implement the activity on training “high school female graduates to qualify them to be teachers whether in literacy centers or first grades of primary education”. The teachers’ training did take place. However, the objective of the activity was to increase the number of female teachers in the educational system by training new staff (recently graduated from high school63). No mechanism was set up to integrate them into the public education sector, rather than the private sector. The trained teachers in question were often already teaching and were not new to the profession. Most of them taught in literacy centres for lack of another teaching position provided for by the State. Moreover, this association was the only one to be in charge of building a fence and bathrooms for two schools which is not mentioned in the Final Technical Report (January 2009) and so was not implemented64.

  • 65 The project proposal does not precise the kind of support they should afford.

94The project objectives regarding income generating, common to all the association partners, was to: “pay the teachers’ salaries in literacy and primary classes, pay the rent of the literacy centers, other educational activities depending on the profits of the project”. Thus, the income generating project specifically aimed to support the implementation of the activities, not to guaranty the association’s sustainability. Moreover, if the income generating objective is common to all the partner associations, some of them, which was not mentioned in the association’s action plan, had to be implemented after the end of the project — according to the project proposal. For instance, supporting the literacy centres does not come under the activities of the al-Shahel Society for Women’s but they still should have had to do so after the end of the project. Why not integrate the activity during the project implementation phase65? Finally, the perception of the concept of sustainability concept in the project proposal can give rise to certain questions. Is it sustainable for an education sector project to rely exclusively on the private sector? In fact, the private market is envisioned in the project proposal as the only guaranty for the project’s sustainability, not the integration of the teachers into the educational system, for instance. It is true that the public sector is not financially able to provide for the required number of positions in the school system. Does this explain why the educational sector has been withdrawn from the mechanism for sustainability?

95At the time this was written, al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development is the only association to have succeeded in implementing an income generating project.

96Although it is not the mission of this consultancy to evaluate if girls’ education needs in the respective targeted districts were properly identified, the disparity in implemented activities may raise questions. In fact, according to the project proposal, the al-Shahel Society for Women was supposed to implement only awareness campaigns and non-class activities. When they were asked as to why they did not support literacy centres, the coordinator of the association’s project argued that the illiteracy rate was not high in the district of Sahel. Therefore, the local context did not justify working on this issue. The LAEO district director for Shahel, Hisham Abu Hadi, asserted that in 2009, 52% of the population was illiterate — 38% males and 66% females and added that the drop in female illiteracy is exponential as in 2005 the rate of illiteracy among women reached 72%. Is the exponential decrease in the proportion of illiterate women the reason for not supporting literacy centres for al-Shahel Society for Women and SOUL? Was there no need to work on the issue of illiteracy — as asserted by al-Shahel Society for Women or was the association not capable of working in the field — as SOUL asserts that the associations chose their activities based on their own capacities? Other questions were raised. For instance the teachers’ training was only implemented by al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development association. Why did the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development not implement this activity while they supported many literacy centres?

  • 66 Building infrastructure would have been among the mechanism but it was withdrawn from the project. (...)

97In the designed project, two out of the six activities are directly addressed to “regular” schools — non-class activities, constructions. One of them deals directly with literacy classes — opening literacy centres. Two activities target both — awareness campaigns and training teachers. In other words, the two defined objectives specifically aimed at girls in the “regular” school system i. e. increasing the number of girls enrolled in primary education, decreasing the number of primary and high school female dropouts — are envisioned mainly through awareness campaigns, non-class activities (for two associations only), training teachers (for one association only) and constructions (for one association only)66. One can wonder if the said activities actually do create strong mechanism to fully meet these objectives, as the identified and expected results. Moreover, as the non-class activities were rarely implemented, the fences were never built and the teachers’ training was partly addressed but only through the implementation of the project’s activities centred on the literacy centres — and their teachers.

Project Indicators

98The project indicators follow the objectives and activities and are applicable to the different action plans, to: “Increase the number of female enrolled students in literacy classes, increase the number of female enrolled students in primary school, decrease the number of female drop-outs from the primary and high school”.

Expected Results

99The general expected results are strongly linked to the formal education sector:

  • Increase the rate of (1) literate girls and women in the district, (2) girls enrolled in primary education and (3) high school graduate teachers67,
  • Decrease the rate of primary and high school drop-outs.

100The Final Technical Report asserts that the general expected results were reached: “during the two Academic years 2006 – 2007 and 2007 – 2008, there was, in general, a slight increase in female enrolment and attendance at the targeted schools”. On the chart presented in the report, in the governorate of Hajjah, the district of Hajjah where the non-class activities were not included in the project proposal — is the only one to show an increase in female students, while in the schools where the non-class activities should have been implemented, girls’ enrolment had actually gone down. In fact, measuring the impact through the increase in girls’ enrolment is complex and should specify these rates based on the number of years spent in school, and not the absolute figure. Again, one might wonder if the lack of time did not prove to be a major impediment to fulfil the project’s objective.

101The specific expected results for the partner associations were to: “acquire experience in management of awareness campaigns and advocacy for girls’ education issues, training female teachers in teaching methods and education, training male and female teachers on how to create non-class activities in their schools and on the range of adult education and life skills for girls and women in general, the organization will gain knowledge about the most important issues related to girls’ education”. Thus, the expected results were: “improving the NGO’s skills in development field” as was the objective of the first phase. Moreover, the Final Technical Report confirms the achievement of the expected results which seems hard to believe as some of the activities were not implemented. The following section will address this issue in detail.

102In conclusion, SOUL’s project proposal showed skills in formulating, organizing an idea according to logic specific to the development field. However, shortcomings in development concepts and their approach (mechanisms to be set up in order to reach the identified objectives) have been discussed.

103SOUL supervised the associations implementing the activities. In the project proposal, SOUL was in charge of following up on project implementation and reports had to be regularly issued by the junior associations. In addition to this, the senior association was to set up a monitoring system during the project’s implementation.

104The project’s action plans often differ from their implementation, and SOUL’s project is no exception. The activities aiming to improve girls’ involvement at school or reducing the dropout rate were not performed or were realigned. The project turned out to focus on literacy and awareness campaigns — and not on the improvement of girls’ school enrolment. This explains why the impact assessment is based on those two aspects to evaluate the impact on the association’s skills.

b- Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen

  • 68 Over a year and a half cleave the two projects. One may wonder if the 2nd project really is a foll (...)
  • 69 The project analysis was difficult to carry out as both the project proposal and the Final Technic (...)

105Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen is a two-year project presented by SADA. This project is considered as being the second phase of a project entitled Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen implemented between May 2005 and November 200668. Only the second phase of the project’s impact will be assessed in this report69.

106The project summary of the second phase (objectives, activities and expected results/sustainability) encompasses the two targeted areas where the project took place in al-Mahweet and Hodeidah and will be reproduced as such. Part of the activities was implemented in the villages targeted in the first phase as additional settlements.

Specific Objectives

107The specific objectives are: “to sensitize the families and actors of the civil society about the importance of girls’ education, to offer afterschool follow-up and preparatory courses addressed to young girls wishing to integrate the classical school, to participate to fight against illiteracy in opening literacy classes for women, to enhance the administrative and financial capacities of members of 9 junior associations involved in the project”. The formulation itself is sometimes unclear and the concepts developed not fully understood. Indeed, some of the specific objectives include activities. If I were to allow myself to change the specific objectives to correspond to the project’s intentions then, I would identify three focuses in the project: increasing girls’ school enrolment, fighting illiteracy and improving partner associations’ skills.

108At last, the wording of the project’s objectives links literacy classes and integrating students into the “regular” school system. The awareness campaigns were aimed at improving girls’ education, their re-integration into the school system and changing the community’s mind-set on girls’ education.

Activities

  • 70 According to the re-interpretation of the project proposal’s specific objectives, three distinct a (...)

109Four objectives were set in the project proposal and only three activities70.

  • 71 If 30 sessions were organized by 9 partner organizations, that means that more than 3 sessions are (...)
  • 72 According to SADA director this was addressed to people in charge of schools and handling children (...)
  • 73 In the original version, no precision is given about the organizations, who the administrative mem (...)

110Activity 1, sensitization on the importance of girls’ access to education” in the project proposal encompasses: training the associations on how to conduct awareness campaigns (4 day workshop) and carrying out sessions (30 for all the implemented projects in Hodeidah and al-Mahweet71). The Final Technical Report asserts that two training sessions were organized: on communication skills and preparing an action plan to carry out the awareness sessions and girls’ rights to education and skills on monitoring and organizing awareness sessions72. The first training session was addressed to Local Councils representatives, workers at the education office, imams and association members. Thus, the beneficiaries of the training were more than planned. The second training targeted association and Local Council members, two members in the administration, along with two sociology specialists73. After holding the training sessions, a group was created among the beneficiaries to conduct the 30 awareness campaign sessions (in 19 villages and reaching out to 4,773 families).

  • 74 The answer to the question on how the awareness campaigns were carried out was unclear as the LAEO (...)

111At last, the project proposal and the Final Technical Report do not mention the method for implementing the awareness sessions. It is worth mentioning that in the first phase of the project (2005 – 2006), posters, brochures and videos (television) were the tools used to support the awareness campaign, which was not the case in the second phase74.

  • 75 The wording is misleading. In fact, 5 classes were opened in the first phase and the 22 classes me (...)
  • 76 It clearly appears in the wording of this activity that some ideas are inappropriately articulated (...)
  • 77 The wording is confusing as from the age of 6 to 8 girls do not have to reintegrate the school sys (...)
  • 78 It has to be mentioned that this information is in the objectives proposal. If I moved it in with (...)
  • 79 Running both activities at the same time is impossible due to the lack of space. The report was wr (...)
  • 80 Actually, objective 2 mentioned this activity. In order to help understand the underlying logic of (...)

112Activity 2 aims at “setting up 22 preparatory classes and literacy classes75 through the implementation of two training sessions to re-activate knowledge already acquired by the teachers from the first phase of the project on pedagogy and how to teach the elderly —, hiring teachers and furnishing 12 classes76. If the activity does not explain what a preparatory class is, it is in the section at the beginning of the project proposal entitled “Accomplishments and Results of the First Phase”. The preparatory classes targeted girls between 6 and 8, willing to “reintegrate the classical school”. The preparatory classes were considered to be part of “supporting the teaching” and “updating knowledge” for the girls77. As the proposal and the Final Technical Report do not afford details on the preparatory classes, the interview of SADA’s director was enlightening. In the preparatory classes, girls are taught the alphabet and writing, numbers and get used to using school books. The material is given for free by the libraries. Preparatory classes have no official curriculum. The method was taught by a Lebanese expert in this field. Summer courses are followed-up only the first months after going back to school in the “preparatory classes”78. Finally, in the project proposal’s description of the activity, it is mentioned that preparatory classes will be held in the mornings and literacy classes in the afternoons. The Final Technical Report asserts that literacy classes and preparatory classes were provided in the afternoons which appeared to be a mistake according to SADA’s director79. Finally, this activity encompasses handing out uniforms and kits to girl students — which according to the Final Technical Report was done80.

  • 81 According to the titles of the last two training sessions it is difficult to figure out their exac (...)

113The Final Technical Report asserts that five training sessions on methodology and pedagogy — much more than planned in the project proposal for the teachers (two — gathering 20 persons each time and focusing on teaching the youngest and illiterates — and targeting 30 persons) and one about teaching pedagogical needs (20 persons) and on rural girls’ specific pedagogical needs81 (30 persons). The proposal and the final report do not mention the amount of training a single teacher benefited from. The Final Technical Report asserts that a contract was signed with the education sector at the beginning of the activity’s implementation to ensure their commitment — i. e. hiring teachers at the end of the project. As mentioned in the Final Technical Report, the Ministry of Education could not hire the teacher in question at the end of the project and SADA association is still following up on this issue.

  • 82 Once again, this information is provided in the objectives but, in order to ensure a better unders (...)

114Finally, the literacy centres implemented the national literacy curriculum82. If LAEO management is not mentioned, during the field work it was noticed that they had been supervising the proper implementation of the literacy centres.

  • 83 In the Arabic version, this part was not translated.

115Activity 3 targets the enhancement of management skills including finance in organizing 2 training sessions (4 days) on managing development projects, especially planning, monitoring, finance, administration and fund raising. In addition to this, 3 workshops of 3 days each were supposed to be set up to prepare for the project’s sustainability — which finally were not held according to the Final Technical Report. According to it83 two training sessions (each of them gathering 36 persons) were organized and targeted Local Council members, and association (6 out of the 9) representatives for the education sector, imams and key community representatives. One may wonder to what extent the targeted groups could benefit from such training? Also, part of the project’s sustainability was quickly raised through the workshops. Would it not have been better to devote part of the training towards this specific issue?

  • 84 The Technical Final Report reproduces several mistakes — especially in the logical framework, in i (...)

116As a general statement, the overall logic of the project is difficult to work out84: concepts are not properly acquired (such as the difference between objectives and activities), some activity titles do not correspond to their description (such as activity 2), the content of some activities is vague (“preparatory classes”), some major points are not mentioned, such as the project’s sustainability which is partly integrated into the different activities and into the expected results. However, the activities do offer some detailed figures — the number of beneficiaries, sessions, workshop… even if all are not specified.

117The objective clearly aims to improve girls’ enrolment in school. Two mechanisms have been set up to attain the objective: preparatory classes to support their integration or re-integration into the school system, and the literacy classes. Awareness campaigns along with training for teachers supports the implementation of the main objective. Nevertheless, one may wonder if such activities aimed at increasing girls’ enrolment in school will support them in reaching this objective. For instance, is supporting literacy centres perceived as a tool to improve girls’ and women’s enrolment at school? Is working with girls not yet in school the best target group — while it is known that girls display the most important enrolment rate in the first school grades and that the gap often occurs after 9th grade?

Expected Results/Sustainability

118Four expected results have been identified in the project proposal:

  1. Improving management (reporting and monitoring) and financial capacities of the associations, their capacity to carry out awareness campaigns,
  2. Training (based on LAEO methods) and hiring teachers,
  3. Setting up the preparatory and literacy classes, with 90% of the targeted beneficiaries having integrated preparatory and literacy classes and 90% of the targeted beneficiaries pursuing their studies after the “preparatory classes” in Hodeidah,
  4. Awareness campaigns supporting the re-integration of female dropouts back into the “regular” school system, changing mentalities towards girls’ education, 90% of the female students who attended the “preparatory classes” and the literacy classes get to the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades85 and 50% of the student in 4th, 5th and 6th grade continued in their studies, the dropout rate having decreased from 30% to 15% in all the targeted villages and 891 women and girls in 11 targeted villages have become literate.

119Again, the wording of the expected results is embedded in part of the activities — except for the first one — and makes the underlying logic of the project difficult to identify. For instance, expected result 2 is the description of an activity teaching or hiring teachers. Moreover, the wording of it is not appropriate in stating that 90% of the targeted beneficiaries would integrate preparatory and literacy classes, while the beneficiaries defined in the first page of the project proposal are supposed to be the local community, families, the girls... Therefore, 90% of the targeted beneficiaries cannot study in the preparatory and literacy classes. Moreover, the order of the expected results does not match the activities, such as the associations skills mentioned first then last as an activity. These expected results raise one final question: is the awareness campaign (expected result number 4) a tool for re-integrating female students into the “regular” system? Is it realistic for an awareness campaign to ensure that 90% of female students who attended “preparatory” and literacy classes get to the next grade?

  • 86 This is a translation from the French version.

120The Final Technical Report asserts that 50% of the girls registered in 4th and 5th grade through the project followed up their studies, which means the girl dropout rate decreased down to 30% and 14% respectively’86. The preparatory classes target girls too young to be integrated into 4th and 5th grade — as they are in the preparatory classes (1st and 2nd grade) — but then, which girls exactly would actually be the targets? Students from the literacy classes went up from 4th to 5th but they will not be able to integrate school before the 7th grade. In addition to this, the wording does not specify where exactly the increase occurred. Another example of the lack of precision is given in the report without providing the source of the information regarding a decrease in the number of early marriages, supposedly as a result of the awareness campaigns. How could this be measured if there are no updated statistics concerning this issue?

  • 87 Implementing this activity would raise the question of its impact. One can wonder if a one-day wor (...)

121The question of project sustainability is not directly raised in the project but rather it is indirectly asserted through the hiring of teachers in the education sector or through organizing workshops at the end of the two-year project to reflect upon the continuation of the project. If the latter activity was planned in the project proposal, it disappeared in the Final Technical Report87.

122In conclusion, the project presented by SADA displays low skills in project writing — confusing basic concepts used in the development field (objectives, activities, expected results). Therefore, the approximate wording and prioritizing of ideas depreciate the quality of the implemented project and the involvement of the organizations, and it proved to be an impediment to carrying out the impact assessment.

123Reporting is mentioned in the Final Technical Report but no reports were shown to me — by the junior associations and there is no mention of setting up any monitoring system.

124SADA was in charge of implementing the training, especially regarding development tools. The team of trainers were the ones who wrote the project proposal and the Final Technical Report. Thus, the quality of the training can be questioned and, as a result, so can the selection criteria used by the senior association. In addition, SADA was in charge of implementing a wide range of activities, leaving only limited space for the junior associations to run independent initiatives. This last issue questions the relevance of the junior/senior structure which ended up creating a hierarchical relation between the two.

  • 88 As the beneficiaries of the preparatory classes are girls between the ages of 6 to 8 they were not (...)

125As for SOUL’s project, not all the activities mentioned in the project proposal were implemented. Therefore, only the literacy classes, awareness campaigns, teacher’s training and the partner association’s training will show up in the activities the impact of which could be assessed88.

126As a general conclusion, the projects complied with the SFD I application form which did not mention any requirement in terms of mastering development tools or presenting a clear development approach. Therefore, the project proposals ended up complying with donor demands for non-formalized project proposals. The French Embassy changed its position during the implementation years by asking for more formalized projects and for instance demonstrating a logical framework in the Final Technical Report — which, at least in the case of SADA, was a difficult requirement to fulfil as it should have been required from the beginning. In addition to this, mastering development tools did not seem, at the beginning of the SFD I implementation, to be a criteria for selecting senior associations. Therefore, did the criteria for qualifying as a senior association change during the implementation period and what were they?

  • 89 The senior associations were aware of the complexity of the issue but did not have the expertise i (...)

127The two projects aimed at improving girls’ education and strengthening the associations’ skills with similar activities: training association members (by supporting them in implementing the activities) and targeting education sector staff (teachers, supervisors), supporting literacy/preparatory classes and carrying out awareness campaigns. Thus, the two projects based their action on specific areas in the field of girls’ education without paying attention to other aspects such as economic factors, infrastructure (lack of schools, lacking school infrastructure, no water supply…)... In fact, girls dropping out is a complex issue and depends on different factors, some of which are interlinked89. In the project proposal, SOUL planned to go beyond the limitations of the presented activities by giving mandate to the associations to lobby for girls’ education at the Local Council level. Finally, the two associations had the same analysis on one mechanism to improve girls’ education: increasing the number of female teachers in the school system. Unfortunately, the training did not reach its objective for two reasons. First, it focused mainly on teachers already given a permanent contract or teaching in literacy classes (sometimes for a few years already). Therefore, this activity did not bring as many new teachers as expected and the Ministry of Education did not hire the teachers — due to a lack of budget.

128However, the approach might be slightly different between the SOUL and SADA projects as the latter set up the project for the integration or re-integration of girls and women into the school system, while the former was working (according to the project proposal) mainly on avoiding having girls’ drop out. This explains why, for SOUL, supporting the literacy classes was not aimed at integrating the students into the “regular” school system — contrary to SADA’s project. Moreover, the improvement of girls’ education was planned by SADA through the ‘margins’: before the girls’ enrolment into school (between the ages of 6 to 8), through the preparatory classes or targeting illiterates. SOUL’s proposal focused on targeting the current girl students in the system. As a result of which the project actors were different. If SOUL invested in the proper implementation of the school by associating it to the parent council or opening non-class activities, SADA concentrated on improving the level of the teachers — targeting future students and students in literacy centres as well as their supervisors.

129In the management field, there are tangible differences between the SOUL and SADA projects. In SOUL’s project proposal, the association training phase was differentiated from the implementation process, which was not the case for SADA. Therefore, action plans and the monitoring system were designed as tools to support the right development implementation. Those tools were lacking in SADA’s project implementation. In addition to this, if SADA was more present in implementing directly the training, SOUL delegated this task to the associations themselves — so they may acquire skills and develop a certain feeling of ownership of the project. Finally, SOUL was demanding in terms of reporting, monitoring and archiving — which was not the case for SADA.

Female students

130The different themes defined in the guidelines will the main topic of this section: motivation, evaluating the classes, impact, environment and needs.

a- Motivations

131The students’ motivations in taking the literacy classes are varied and classified depending on the frequency they are mentioned:

  • 90 None of the interviews were recorded. Recording is not accepted by all the women and often breaks (...)

1321. ‘I want to learn’ is very often the first answer given regarding the girl’s motivations. Girls or women want to learn. They want to get information, which has no link with their daily world. For instance, Amina who is 35 years old and has 7 children asserted during her interview that90:

Since she was a little girl she had wanted to learn how to read and write. When she was young she could not study. There were no schools. Even her husband does not really read and write. So, as soon as she had the opportunity to learn in the literacy classes, she registered, to learn.

133In their first answer the students often asserted that they wanted to absorb any kind of information. Actually, this concerns a minority of the students interviewed —especially among the youngest. In fact, some information seems more valuable, such as Koranic precepts.

  • 91 Which is not the case for the health courses.
  • 92 Called in dialect ‘halqa’ the sessions were organized in a neighbour’s home, where a woman teaches (...)

1342. The second main reason — as frequent as the first one — is linked with the religious issue. As mentioned before, the Koran is taught as part of the literacy classes’ curriculum. Therefore, the students are curious about the religious precepts. The teachers teach what religion sees as good and bad, allowed and forbidden, the meaning and the role of a good Muslim woman and “submission” (ita’) to her husband. The teachers spread religious values, but only the basic religious rites such as prayer. Learning about the rituals and values are what a majority of the students interviewed declared as being their main motivation to take the literacy classes. As a result of which the non-religious subjects are often seen as not being crucial, such as geography, Arabic grammar, mathematics91… However, the literacy classes are not assimilated to Koranic sessions92. The aim of Koranic sessions is to learn off by heart the suras of the Koran while the literacy centres help to understand the wording, their meaning. Thus, the two classes contribute to a better knowledge of the Koran, each method having something specific to offer. For instance, see the following story about Hasna who is 18 years old:

She studied 5 years at school and she had to stop because there were no schools for girls. Then, the literacy classes opened. She wanted to learn. She wanted to know the Koran. […] In the evenings, one of her neighbour organizes sessions to learn the Koran off by heart. She often goes. The neighbour teaches them how to read, to pronounce the letters. […] The difference with school is that she does not do any explaining.

135It appeared that the sessions to learn the Koran came up more often in the areas visited in Hodeidah than in Hajjah governorate.

  • 93 Over the age of thirty this idea is not raised.
  • 94 It is obvious that this aspect of a mother’s role is a new trend. A few years ago no one would hav (...)

1363. As a result of the spread of Islamic values, the third motivation for girls and young women students is linked with their role as good mothers (or as good mothers in the future)93. A good mother takes care of her children who supposedly have to be taught by her how to read and write as inscribed in Muslim values94. Therefore, the first role of a woman is to be a mother and she is her children’s first teacher. Also, in the case of the youngest students, they learn how to best serve their future family.

1374. Another motivation for the students is to have access to practical information. The most frequent example given is the capacity to read children drugs’ notices — the paradigm of a good Muslim mother — a point raised several times by married women or teenagers. Another example, mentioned less often, is the ability to read newspapers or to be fully part of the election process. See for instance, Latifa and Najiba’s story:

They are sheikh’s daughters. Their father did not authorize them to study or only a few years because it was impossible for them to study with boys — and the teacher was a man too. They asked their father to help by opening up literacy classes in their village. They went back to studying because they wanted to learn. They wanted to understand what people around them were talking about. For instance, to vote in an election, it is important to know how to read and write.

1385. Finally, it is a given that reading and writing is necessary to acquire any other kind of skills — sewing is often given as an example. In fact, the students consider that being literate would make it easier for them to learn handicraft skills.

  • 95 Growing with the spread of specific religious values in society.
  • 96 The discourse could be analysed in all fields linked to women. For instance, in the family plannin (...)

139The five identified motivations based on the students’ answers lead to five remarks. First, the students’ answers do not just make up the image of a good Muslim, but of a literate woman at that. The ideas expressed by the female interviewees are based on the dialectic of literate/illiterate. The illiterate/literate paradigm is built upon this dialectic: knowledge as opposed to ignorance, intelligent as opposed to stupidity, good as opposed to bad… Therefore, the quality of a person depends intimately on their knowledge — as knowledge is linked with the Koran as a code of values. In addition to this, the literacy feature is gender biased. In fact, if an illiterate person is discredited, an illiterate woman is often seen as harmful to society. The new role95 — essentialism of the mother’s mission — is the mechanism which supports the creation of this dissymmetrical gender relation. The second is the donor policy focusing exclusively on women illiteracy and building the discourse on the idea of harmful ignorant women96. Therefore, the literacy classes participate in the creation of a positive image of the female students — withdrawing them from the dark sphere of illiteracy. Finally, this representation also has to do with generational conflicts such as cleavages between literates and illiterates.

  • 97 The question asked was: why do you study in the literacy classes? To which none of the girls answe (...)
  • 98 As mentioned before, students between the ages of 10 to 13, were not interviewed but it is plausib (...)

140As a second remark after pouring over the students’ answers is that the students make a clear distinction between their motivations and their ambitions97. First, only part of the students interviewed the teenager demographic wish to integrate the school system and only some of them to finish secondary school98. However, even this last group of students will not be able to integrate the “regular” school system. See the reasons explained by Muna who is 15 years old and is finishing the third year in the literacy classes:

Of course! After graduating from the literacy classes she wants to integrate “regular” school. Would I help her to do so? Would I support the construction of a school for girls? In fact, she will not be able to integrate any school in her area because all are mix schools. Her parents will never allow her to study in those conditions. However, her dream is to graduate at least from high school and why not college because she wants to be a nurse.

  • 99 Some of the students have to leave their village to settle closer to the school as was the case of (...)

141The same arguments alleged by Muna were repeated by all the students willing to integrate “regular” school. Two contexts come out of the interviews. The first situation, as mentioned before, is the lack of schools in the targeted areas, which partly stems from the criteria for the literacy centres’ location — isolated from basic infrastructures. Also, the secondary schools for students (male or female) are few in numbers. To get to them, the students have to cover a long distance on foot or by car99. This happens more often in Hajjah governorate, where the distance to cover can be between 2 to 4 hours a day. In Marawi’a region — especially the places targeted by the project —, the local population (and local representatives such as sheikhs) supported the construction of primary schools which are well spread out in the different areas. Nevertheless, the number of secondary schools is still not sufficient and there is only one high school for all the districts, which raises the issue of the lack of infrastructure and how it impedes girls and boys in their studies.

  • 100 Those reasons have to be added to the first identified situation.
  • 101 In other areas school is in the afternoon. In one school in Murawi’a, there are too many students (...)
  • 102 In which case, the impediment puts into question the impact of the awareness campaigns. Could it r (...)

142The second situation appears when the secondary school is not located far from the female students’ home — which concerns a minority of the girls interviewed — but the girls will not be able to study for several reasons100. Among those invoked is first the fact that the school is still far — meaning outside of the village —, close to the market and is mixed. In 7th grade young men attending the courses are already teenagers — as some postponed the beginning of their studies, or they repeated several years and girl or young woman could not possibly study with them in the same room. In addition to this, the girls do not wish to be mixed up with younger people — in terms of their own personal image. Last of all, the “regular” school schedule should be adapted to this group of students. In fact, a majority of them will not be able to study in the mornings as is the case with “regular” school in the targeted areas101. This appeared to be among the main impediments for them. The female students have asked for the implementation of the literacy class concept all the way up to high school102.

  • 103 There are no statistics on the number of girls who integrate the “regular” school system.

143If, in the rural areas targeted by the projects, no girls integrated “regular” school, it does not mean that linking both systems is impossible. Examples exist only in urban areas — where schools are easily accessible as living conditions are easier but are still exceptional103.

  • 104 Socialization was more important in Hajjah than in Hodeidah governorate where the majority of the (...)

144As a third remark, none of the female students mentioned personal feelings about the literacy classes such as the joy of learning, of being in another atmosphere than usual, socialization (networking with new friends). However, the students do enjoy going to school. If those issues are never mentioned it is due to the fact that going to school has to serve either the family’s interest or their own. Pleasure has no part in it. All the students’ motivations already listed are socially acceptable — even upheld by part of the local community but not the ones just mentioned104.

145The fourth remark is a continuation of the previous statement. The students often express motivations which are acceptable to the community and to themselves — such as the religious issue or the will to reproduce the “good mother” model... In other words student motivations should not be taken at face value. This would explain the importance of raising other issues such as the joy of studying.

146Finally, the students in Hajjah did not mention learning a handicraft as a motivation as this activity had only been implemented in one centre. The students declared unanimously that they would prefer incentives in terms of skills learned rather than getting money. The way they see it, money is not a long term benefit.

147In conclusion, the main motivation for studying in the literacy classes is to acquire knowledge, more specifically information about the precepts of the Koran. If there is a common agreement throughout the various age ranges concerning the motivations, ambitions differ as the youngest wish to integrate the “regular” school system. The diversity of the literacy classes’ audience is without a doubt an important issue as it could condition the approach and teaching inside them. In fact, if ambitions differ depending on the different categories, the way they are taught should also be tailored to these. Finally, it appears that the integration of students from literacy centres into “regular” school has not occurred yet in a rural context.

b- Evaluation of the Literacy Classes

  • 105 The students might have been afraid that the purpose of the visit was to close down the literacy c (...)

148Student critiques about the literacy courses are few and far between. The students are grateful for being able to study and would like to follow up on the classes, no matter what the conditions105.

149The timetable is suitable for the students. In the morning a majority of the female students have to work at home and a minority in the fields too. They can devote their spare time in the afternoon to studying. If the literacy classes were to be scheduled in the morning, the students would not be able to attend them. In addition to this, some of the girls expressed their desire to extend the number of months when they can study — not just six months in a year. According to them that would help to assimilate more easily all the required information.

  • 106 In the targeted literacy centres, the partner associations were in charge of the distribution of a (...)
  • 107 Some of the students did not know that they only had part of the required books to study the entir (...)

150Some of the students did acknowledge that learning conditions were not easy. Sometimes, the location of the literacy centre is far from their homes — especially in the region of Hajjah. For each grade, the LAEO representative is in charge of distributing the required books to the students (between three and four per year)106. Unfortunately, concerning the literacy centres supported by the two projects, several students were not given all the required books (either because some were missing for all the students or only for some of them)107. In addition to this, the students were not able to buy the books on the market. The curriculum is never criticized and considered as being adapted to them — except for mathematics considered very difficult. Finally, the literacy classes can suffer from their success and the classrooms become too small to host all the students.

151The teacher is always well-liked. Students consider they help them in understanding the lesson properly. Only once did a student mention that the teacher’s pedagogy was not adapted to illiterates.

  • 108 In al-Bul’usse the students do not celebrate because as they declared, they do not know how to bak (...)

152The diploma at the end of the year is important for the students. When it is distributed it is an occasion for a celebration among them — and others such as the headmaster108.

153Finally, the evaluation of the sewing courses is positive at the school in Asma. The teacher provides the material to train the students how to sew. The sewing teacher is well-liked and considered competent.

154In conclusion, the teaching and the courses were positively evaluated by the students even if the teaching conditions are not optimal (lack of books, overcrowded classrooms…).

c- Impact of the Teaching

  • 109 Girls and young women might be able to understand as they might have been used to the vocabulary e (...)
  • 110 This was asked to some of the students.
  • 111 But one can wonder if their level is not in general lower due to the specific and difficult teachi (...)

155It is nearly impossible to evaluate the students’ level in terms of their reading and writing. The majority of the students declared that they understood all the words used on television, in the news, the Koran or in the foreign series (translated into Arabic). However, this statement is more a way to give a positive image of themselves than the reality of things109 — and who could blame them? In fact, it is doubtful they actually are acquainted with the vocabulary or the turns of phrase used in the news and more specifically in the Koran. However, the students undoubtedly do learn how to read and write. They are able to write their name110, to read the headlines of some articles in the newspapers, catch some sentences from the awareness campaigns they hear on the radio or new words off some series... After the three-year cycle, one may assume the students are far from being fluent in reading and writing — but that might be the case of any number of students after graduating from sixth grade in “regular” school111.

  • 112 It was not part the impact evaluation mission to review the program of the literacy classes. Also, (...)

156According to the panel of female students interviewed (see annex 2), less than an half were already enrolled in “regular” school. Those students did have some background before starting the literacy classes but all the students complained about the high level required — even if the most difficult subject was mathematics112. As already mentioned, literacy courses are a compilation of the “regular” school curriculum. The students have to learn in three years with less time devoted to teaching, what the “regular” system would teach in 6 years. Thus, it is not possible for all the women to assimilate easily all the information provided and this surely explains why the students declared that the literacy classes were difficult. For instance, see the story of Ra’ufa who is 30 years old:

She took the literacy classes for a year and dropped out the second year. She tried to understand but she just could not. Her husband was pushing her to study and he wanted her to complete the three-year cycle of the literacy classes. She tried hard to understand and her husband helped her at home by going over the lessons with her. Despite her trying to learn she could not manage and stopped. Her husband was upset because it was important to him that she learned. At the same time, she did not always understand what the teacher was trying to explain to her. It was not clear. Now, she still has some difficulties understanding the news and the Koran. So she asks her husband and he explains it to her. Ra’ufa has little domestic work to accomplish and no responsibilities outside the house.

157Ra’ufa’s interview questions the teacher’s pedagogical ability, but it is difficult to get a clear statement. One can wonder if the difficulties evoked by Ra’ufa would be the reason behind the enrolment gap between the first and the second year in the literacy classes.

158In addition, Ra’ufa mentions the family (children, father, husband or neighbours) were supportive of the students. All the students who were supported declared it was essential in their learning process. It is impossible to measure if external support is a factor in their success. If it is not always the case, as Ra’ufa’s example shows, I would formulate the hypothesis that it is a substantial cause of the literacy classes’ achievement for these women.

159The living conditions are among the main impediments to the attendance and the capacity to focus during the courses. For instance, in Hajjah district, the literacy centres were often located far from the students’ homes. See the story of Amina who is 15 years old and of her friend Shadia, also 15 years old:

Amina spends about four hours a day on the road fetching water. In addition to this, she has to walk an extra hour to get to the literacy centre. I asked her if she felt tired and had trouble following the courses. She answered that sometimes she was too tired and just could not focus. Shadia lives close to Amina’s village and they fetch water from the same well. She added that when they thought about the tiring tasks they had to accomplish at home, it prevented them from focusing.

  • 113 In Shahel district, local council members estimate less than half of the population has no access (...)

160Thus, as the two teenagers can testify, the daily tasks are tiring and represent serious impediments to appropriate studying conditions113. The story of Amina (35 years old), whose interview was partially reproduced before presents us with another situation:

She wants to learn! But, after one year it got difficult for her to continue. She had a lot of work to do at home with 7 children and on top of that she would help her husband in the fields. They did not have much money and she participated in the daily chores. So she had to stop — even if she wants to study. She decided to register her daughter instead of her. At least one of the two would be able to study, that’s her philosophy. She does not see how or when she could go back to the literacy classes, it seems difficult — and if she waits too long she will be too old. “What to do?”

161Shadha, 20 years old with 2 children, describes the same difficulties in attending the courses:

She started the first year but she could not finish because of the tobacco harvesting season. She works with her husband in the fields — 4 months a year. And the season started while the literacy classes were still on. She could not help in the fields and study and look after her two children. Of course, she would like to learn. She wanted to know how to read and write. She has children and it is for them too that she was taking the literacy courses.

162Thus, according to the last two examples, hard living conditions can prevent the students from following the literacy classes.

163Last of all, even if this issue was never raised by any of the interviewees, I would assert that age is another handicap for the oldest, as the young ones can learn quicker.

164The literacy classes offer more than learning and this is often not directly perceived by the students, partly due to the fact that it is linked with feelings which are not expressed out in the open. Some of the younger women gain a certain measure of pride in themselves. See for instance Bilqis’ answer (23 years old) when asked how she felt the first time she went to the literacy classes as she had never been to school before:

She was afraid the first day she came to school. She had never been to school before. Before, she used to see the students going off to school even some members of her family. The first time she came in she did not know what to do, where to go but she came in anyway. Now, it has become something normal for her.

165The first experience in studying is sometimes for the girls or women — but not all of them — a test as the environment is unfamiliar to them. Passing this test is a first step towards building up a certain pride. The second step comes when the female students start being able to decipher and to write. The first time they can write their own name, family name or the name of other family members is a proof of their ability. This goes towards the construction of a positive self-image. In addition to this, as mentioned before, the image of a literate person is highly valued. Also, handing out diplomas participates in the construction of a positive image of the female students. This point was especially raised by the students above the age of 20.

166The literacy classes do not only participate in the construction of a positive self-image but help in building a new friendship network and thus a new sphere for the student’s socialization. This is specifically the case of Hajjah where women from different villages study in the same class, while in Hodeidah the students were more homogenous. See 15 year old Huda’s answer when asked if she knew all the students beforehand and if some of them had become her friends:

She said some of the girls are her friends, now. Some, she knows from before but they were not friends. Now when one of them is sick they go to see her — with the other girls. If there is a wedding or an event, they all go together — all the girls from the class.

167In conclusion, the students do learn despite their level being low — although would it not be the same in a regular class? The literacy classes are seen as difficult by the students due to the volume of information to assimilate as well as external reasons (living conditions, age and lack of outside support for studying). In addition to which, if criticizing the teacher’s pedagogy was a taboo among the female students, the issue should not be undermined. Other impacts were identified such as the capacity of the women to socialize and building a positive self-image.

d- Environment

  • 114 It shows different things; she did not go to the literacy classes for any another reason than lear (...)

168Families can have three different attitudes towards women deciding to take literacy classes. First, they can back the girl or woman. This support occurs sometimes at the beginning of the enrolment or after several months once the student has proven she is able to cope with the literacy courses and that she does learn from it114. For instance, Batul (21 years old) went through this situation with her family:

She decided she wanted to study. Her father did not say a word. Her mother was expressly against it. The family was not really happy with her decision. She decided to go through with her intention. By the end of the first year, when she passed her exam, that is when her family changed their attitude. Now, if there is something she does not understand in the lesson she can ask her father because he is literate and he will help her.

169Another often mentioned attitude of the family is total indifference. The family has no position either for or against the girl or the woman wanting to learn how to read and write, during her spare time. As Amira (24 years old) explained:

Her husband never said a word about the literacy courses. The decision is hers. If she attends the literacy classes it is not a problem and if she does not it is not a problem either. To get help when going over her homework, she would sometimes go to see her neighbours.

170The last attitude is total opposition on behalf of the family. Only one case was encountered. In this case, the father was the only one against the girls’ education. So the student attended the literacy classes without him knowing and with the help of the rest of the family. The student had got to the end of the second year when she was interviewed.

171Based on family attitudes, there clearly is a rather common agreement regarding girls’ and women’s education. Girls or women are not forbidden from studying and this is due to different factors. The first is linked to the fact that female schooling is more and more accepted by the population; it is a general trend at least for primary school. In addition to this, literacy classes are “girls only” with a female teacher and in the projects visited in Hodeidah the literacy centres are close to the village. Last of all, the classes take place in the afternoons during their spare time.

172Even if afternoons are devoted to spare time, the girls or the women can have some duties. For instance, Inas is 20 years old and has children she cannot take care of when she is studying:

Her husband was pushing her to study. She has 2 children and she does not work outside the house. Her husband takes care of the house and the children when she is in class. Her husband is unemployed.

173Last of all, a question remains regarding the impact of the literacy classes on gender and positions in the family. The objective of the two projects was to empower women through education. It should first be assessed if the programs in the literacy classes support this ambition — which was not the purpose of this mission. In addition to which, it is delicate and complicated to get a ruling on gender relation impact as it is a complex subject and would need long term field work, but maybe a hypothesis can be presented. Concerning gender relations, I asked the women whose husbands were not literate: “Now that you are more literate than your husband, what has changed in your relation with him?” The woman would hardly answer this sore topic which astonished some of them maybe because they had just figured it out upon hearing that they possessed a skill their husbands did not. One of the women declared that her relationship with her husband had not changed and that “submission” was the most respectful attitude a woman could have towards her husband. In other words, the level of education had no link with gender relations. However, the relationship can — but apparently only in exceptional cases — change as the woman has access to new information and can participate in new spheres of discussions.

174If gender relation is not at stake, literacy classes can help maintain a certain complicity in the couple. For instance, 26 years old Khayriyya’s husband was very supportive:

Khayriyya’s husband does not know how to read and write. When she told him that she would be studying at the literacy centres he encouraged her. He was very proud. He kept on telling her before she started that after she would be able to teach him. And actually, in the evenings Khayriyya and her husband study together.

175Within the student’s relationship with her family, it seems the situation is similar. Indeed, when asked if their family treated them differently since their studies, girls or the women often have an astonished expression on their faces and most of them answer no.

176In conclusion, support — either from the family or a neighbour is important for the students when facing difficulties in learning. Family reactions tend to be in favour of the girl’s or the woman’s education. However, an important question remains, though, that of the possible impact of education on gender and family relationships. The jury is still out on this question but the current hypothesis is that it does not lead to modifications. Would it be any different for female graduates from a higher grade — high school or university?

e- Needs

177As mentioned before, the question of the needs are delicate to analyse as the female interviewees’ answers are laconic. It seems that the defined priorities differ depending on living conditions. Girls or women studying in difficult living conditions would prefer to get access to water prior to education. This statement was strongly expressed by the students in Hajjah which has no infrastructure for water supply. Learning about health (prevention, first aid…) came in second after education.

178In conclusion, it is difficult to identify girls’ and women’s needs however some priorities have been expressed such as supplying water, health and education. This statement questions the criteria for selecting the location of the literacy centres. Should the literacy centres have been located in villages without any water supply system? Should the courses talk about different topics such as health issues? Could the project have implemented any additional service — in the health field for instance?

Partner Associations

179The associations are the main partners and beneficiaries of the projects as SFD I was aimed at strengthening Yemeni civil society through senior associations supporting junior associations. The skills associations acquired through training (knowledge in Project Cycle Management (PCM), skills in carrying out awareness campaigns), are difficult to assess. However, other aspects have been assessed such as the skills acquired by running a structure such as the literacy centres, or the knowledge acquired on girls’ education and enrolment in their district.

180As strengthening civil society is at the heart of the project, the feature regarding the targeted partner associations will be discussed before reviewing the training carried out, the association’s sustainability, the various impacts of the activities implemented and the sustainability of the project itself.

a- Association Features

181The association’s features — its links with politics, its social representativeness — is essential as the whole point of SFD I was to strengthen civil society.

182The first question raised regarding members setting-up an association is: to what extent can a person cumulate different positions in the local community? In fact, some of the members in the targeted associations hold several posts concurrently — in the political and social spheres. Association members (on the association board) are also members on the Local Council, sometimes sheikhs (or members of the most important sheikh families). For instance, in the case of the al-Shahel Society for Women, the project coordinator is in charge of the Local Council for Social Affairs (overseeing NGOs in the district) and belongs to the prominent sheikh family in the area. In other words, the coordinator is an important member in the community (belonging to a sheikh family), holds a political position and plays a part in civil society. Is there any conflict of interest in combining the two positions — being on the same side as the government, overseeing local civil society and being an actor in it? What would be the legitimacy of an independent association with him as project coordinator?

183A second question raised regarding the features of civil society when its association members (board members) are all intertwined, members on the Local Council and/or Sheikhs. The associations selected in Marawi’a are an excellent illustration of such a context. To explain the situation clearly, I decided to take the example of a fictitious person and several fictitious associations:

  1. A is a board member in association 1, director of association 2 and a sheikh,
  2. B is a coordinator on a project with association 1 as well as one of its board members, a member in association 2 and elected on the Local Council,
  3. C is a member of association 1, director of association 3, an elected member on the Local Council and the most prominent Sheikh in the region,
  4. D is a founding member of association 2, a member of association 3, a member of the Local Council and a Sheikh (with a few villages under his responsibility)…
  • 115 If SOUL seems unaware that its coordinator in Shahel is the Local Council social affairs’ overseer (...)
  • 116 It is not the mission of this consultancy to understand why sheikhs are involved in associations. (...)
  • 117 As it is not the mission of this consultancy to inquire about the origins of the people, it is the (...)

184The first example questions the independence of a person holding several positions concurrently and the legitimacy of their association’s actions115. The case gets more complex as it reaches the size of a full structure. In fact, different spheres — political, social, civil society — belong to a closed circle made up of a limited number of people. Sheikhs catch on to the decentralization process and are elected on the Local Councils — at different levels. In addition, Sheikhs can also catch on to the new forms of social organizations by creating or being part of an association116. However, if opening up to new persons — who do not belong to a Sheikh family117 seems effective, the system is limited to a few citizens, who monopolize decision-making positions in the various spheres. Therefore, the nature of civil society can be questioned, its independence and its legitimacy.

185In conclusion, it is difficult in such a context to plead in favour of enhancing civil society while the associations’ legitimacy is still in question. However, not all the partner association are interlinked with the different spheres of power: In Hajjah, this is the case for only one of the three associations, and in Hodeidah, three out of the four — especially in Marawi’a, where the bulk of the implemented activities took place. Finally, this phenomenon is a common issue in the country and questions the meaning of civil society in the Yemeni context. Are tribes a part of civil society? What could their position be and under which conditions?

b- Association Training and Sustainability

186In the project proposals presented by SOUL and SADA, training on topics such as PCM, financing and fund raising was designed for each association. In addition to this, by running the project, the partner associations would improve their knowledge of girl’s education and acquire skills in carrying out awareness campaigns. Training was aimed at supporting the association’s sustainability. The acquired skills would allow them to implement other projects in the future. The two senior organizations were directly in charge of implementing the said training.

187- SOUL

  • 118 They were not in charge of leading the evaluation of the project.

188Regarding SOUL’s project, asking association members their analysis of training carried out 4 years earlier proved to be extremely arduous as none of the trainees could remember the subjects covered except for filing. The impact assessment was based on improving the association’s capacities throughout the project’s implementation. The associations learned about PCM, acquired reporting and monitoring skills118. SOUL was very strict in reporting each activity. In addition to this, the associations learned about the situation of female literacy in their district and how to carry out awareness campaigns. In so doing, the training and its follow-ups had positive impacts on the partner associations.

  • 119 Did the senior organization understand the purpose of the monitoring system?

189Besides acquiring skills, doubts were raised throughout the impact assessment of the female student beneficiaries which questioned the implemented development approach: was the choice of the different activities adapted to the district’s needs? According to SOUL, each association carried out an assessment to identify the needs regarding literacy and girls’ education depending on their capacities. As SOUL considered that they were not aware of the local context they did not want to influence their choice of activities. Was it SOUL’s mission to support them by providing a clear vision of the development project by showing the associations the way? The implemented method raises other questions: were the courses at the literacy centres adapted to the different illiterate groups targeted? Were their criteria adapted to the targeted females? What topics should the awareness campaigns address and in which selected areas? All those issues will be raised by the conclusion on the monitoring system — if not actually answered in the project proposal. Thus, it can be hypothesized that although the monitoring system was set up and implemented per se, its concept might have not been properly understood by the associations119. In fact, for the partner associations “monitoring” meant “controlling” and was not considered a tool to interrogate the development approach or a tool to change the activities depending on its findings. If skills have been acquired, one can wonder if their purpose has been properly integrated. Is this due to the weak development approach envisioned by the associations — as well as their senior association?

190In addition to this, and not denying the skills acquired by the different associations, it appeared that none of the partner associations changed their internal policies, worked on fund raising, or were able to present full projects to donors. If none of the associations presented a project to donor agencies, they argued that was because they did not know them, did not know how to contact them nor how to enquire about their priorities for funding and that, anyway, Hajjah was not a targeted area for funds. None of the partner associations — as well as SADA’s partner associations — were aware that they were eligible to apply for funding regarding the SFD II program, thinking that only the senior associations were entitled to do so. Obviously, the junior associations were not informed that the fund was aimed at strengthening civil society and therefore was open to all CSO’s.

191Thus, in the case of SOUL’s partner associations working on the project, they ended up either as inactive as the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development, whose members ended up leaving the association, or the association just went back to its former activities, such as the al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development. Except for the latter association, none the other partners are not currently implementing a project on girls’ education. Even al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development is not doing any advocating, nor developing any new activities, nor responding to needs in this field rather than just following up on the activities laid out in SOUL’s project. This association’s background as a charity organization seems to linger on and preventing it from adopting a more development approach. Is this any surprise after only two years spent implementing the project?

192Finally, two remarks have to be added. First, strengthening associations is not an easy task within the short lifespan of the association’s members — a high turnover means the staff has to be continually trained, the associations becoming personalized, its polarization etc. Secondly, the short amount of time devoted to the project’s implementation is among the main impediments to the associations’ strengthening.

193- SADA

  • 120 He suggested that, in each village, one man should be designated as a representative and would ben (...)

194The long term impact cannot be assessed for SADA’s project as it just ended. SADA provided several 4 day training courses (around 3) organized at the onset of the project and targeting different members in the association. The topics addressed during the training were PCM and fund raising. The association members were satisfied with the training — without acknowledging precisely the concrete benefits they got out of it. However, one member of an association in Hodeidah governorate declared that he did not need any training as he had already acquired the said skills during another training session — and recognized that the quality of the training was good. According to him, the lesson learned from this project is that the training sessions to come should select representatives from each village who could then easily reach out to the villagers. In fact, the association members — on the board — had already benefited from enough training, which was not the case for the villagers120. The interview of the coordinator for the Marawi’a associations covered the training and the project impacts in terms of experience. The coordinator expressed a will to open up the skills training courses (sewing, knitting…) and wanted more information regarding donor policy and asked me to identify the ones which could support his project. In order to have a better overview of the project, I inquired about the potential project beneficiaries (illiterate women, students in literacy, female students, rural women…). It was obvious that the coordinator had difficulties grasping the meaning of beneficiaries and did not have any thoughts about the objective of this training. However, he was able to identify a need expressed by part of his community.

195The training should have provided the associations with skills in using some development tools (the monitoring system was not set up) but regarding its approach. Therefore, the same issues raised regarding SOUL’s implementation of the training apply to SADA also.

196In conclusion, the associations learned either about PCM — or, at least, they heard about some basic tool concepts. The main question is: is teaching then following-up an appropriate tool for the associations to become independent and efficient? Do the associations need to learn about development tools or rather about development approaches?

c- Organizing and Running Awareness Campaigns and Literacy Centres

197Association members were trained on how to carry out an awareness campaign. Regarding the skills acquired during the training courses, few of them commented on the quality and the effectiveness of the training they had got on awareness campaigns.

198The awareness campaigns were implemented by both projects and were partly based on the same method, discussions with different targeted groups: sheikhs, Imams, Local Council members, citizens. In addition to this, SOUL’s project on awareness-raising was implemented through leaflets, brochures and broadcasts on the radio. The awareness sessions were aimed at both male and female — even if according to its project proposal SOUL planned to target only girls and women, the teams ended up targeting men too, they were made up of men and women.

  • 121 In fact, awareness sessions are hardly efficient after only one or two visits. Awareness is always (...)

199As mentioned earlier, it is impossible due to the lack of time to assess the impact of the awareness campaigns. In addition to this, these were implemented over a short period of time — 2 to 3 months. Some villages were toured only once, sometimes twice. For instance, al-Shahel Society for Women organized two visits in 6 different villages as part of a one year project (exclusively based on awareness campaigns). Therefore, the number of awareness meetings depended on how involved in the project the organization was as campaigning in each settlement was not enough to be assessed in terms of an impact121. Also, the selection of the targeted villages was not raised by the associations. However, it does raise a question. How is one to get an awareness campaign going in villages deprived of any school building or in areas where there are some but girls are forbidden to attend?

  • 122 The population in Hajjah does not do excisions.
  • 123 Is early marriage linked with girls dropping out? Even if the link is commonly established by seve (...)
  • 124 No other field of work for women was mentioned.
  • 125 The message of the awareness campaigns could be based on the acceptance by the population of schoo (...)

200The topics raised by the awareness campaigns differ from one project to another. With SADA’s project, the awareness campaigns were a comprehensive approach to girls’ situation in the area. The questions raised were linked with early marriage and female excision122. The various issues were either considered as impeding girls’ education123 or among the major issues that girls in the area faced. SOUL’s partner associations focused on girls’ education during the awareness campaigns. Concerning this issue, the discourse in Hajjah and Hodeidah were based on two main similar arguments. Religion was an important reference to lobby in favour of girl’s education. The main statement was that a good Muslim woman can read and write. The second argument was based on the practical necessity for women to offer services to women. Society needs teachers and medical staff (doctor, nurses, and midwives)124. “Women at work” was thus the second argument used to convince the population to change their attitude125.

201The awareness campaigns encouraged girls’ education. Were the arguments used by the associations adapted to illiterate students? Would the awareness campaigns actually encourage illiterate women to study? The religious aspect of education is definitely an efficient argument for all women (literate or illiterate), which is less than can be said for the second argument dealing with women’s integration into the workplace (paid work). If the youngest students in literacy centres could dream of graduating and finding a job, it was not possible for the others —as displayed in the report, none of the students in the literacy centre had at this time integrated the school system. Finally, one may envision that focusing on girl’s education has an indirect effect on illiterate women because education for women becomes something readily accepted.

  • 126 Reporting, monitoring systems and evaluations are development tools which would have allowed the i (...)

202Through SOUL’s project, the associations not only organized awareness campaigns but also discussions with key representatives from the local community (Local Council representatives, Imams, educational sector representatives) to identify the problems impeding girls’ enrolment and how to go about solving them. There are various people involved with the LAEO representatives the only exception was the al-Shahel Society for Women (which did not inform SOUL of its not taking part in the project126).

  • 127 Among the arguments raised, none of them were linked with the geographical situation of the school (...)
  • 128 In some areas like Beni Qais the number of boys dropping out from school reaches 15% according to (...)

203Girls’ enrolment in Hajjah and Hodeidah seems similar. In the preparatory school, if girls’ enrolment is lower than boys’, the gap (around 10 points) is shrinking year after year — with a higher rate of girls’ enrolment in Hodeidah as there were pre-existing infrastructures. Also, in both governorates girls start dropping out around 9th grade, the rate increases drastically for high school. The problems mainly identified by education sector representatives — for both governorates are: a lack of female teachers, a lack of infrastructure — or of adapted infrastructures (toilets, walls to protect the girls), a lack of schools (which means the distance to get to them increases), coeducational, economic reasons, lack of infrastructure (water supply), early marriage and a lack of awareness127. The list of impediments is long and the senior associations knew about these different factors and did understand that the awareness campaigns would be of very limited use. In general, the actors in the education sector invoked all the issues but did not define any priorities. Often, they added that some of the reasons are common issues between girls and boys — such as economic reasons or a lack of awareness128. Thus, awareness was identified by all the actors as being one of the factors but not the most important one when dealing with impediments to girls’ education. Only a few assert that the lack of infrastructure and teachers is the crux of the problem and consider the awareness campaigns to be useless. Some of the project coordinators did not have a definite opinion on the efficiency of awareness campaigns compared to other kinds of measures. One coordinator asserted the awareness campaigns are the major tool in improving girls’ school enrolment. Another coordinator defined the priorities regarding female needs as follows: water supply, roads, health and education.

204The impact of open discussions is difficult to assess. One obvious fact is that the discussions participated in a more general trend — in Yemen — on raising the question of girls’ education and working on fighting the gender gap in this field — especially in rural areas.

205SOUL’s project proposal worked on advocacy, through awareness campaigns. The organization of awareness campaigns addressed to Local Council members is only part of the advocacy action, which was weak. As of today, none of the three organizations are advocating for girls’ education. If the associations did not take over this task a mother’s council did, which represents one of the most visible and sustainable impacts of the awareness campaigns. The mother’s council does not do any lobbying but is currently conducting awareness sessions on education. Its next step, though, might well be lobbying.

  • 129 This was not the case in Muhsan Dhanat (Bajil) for instance.
  • 130 The evaluators took pictures of the students which provoked the anger of the inhabitants. Under pu (...)

206The second main activity the associations were in charge of was selecting, opening and setting up the literacy classes, training their staff (teachers, and supervisors in the case of SADA’s project) and providing skills trainings (only for SOUL). As mentioned earlier, the partner associations selected the targeted schools and furnished some of the classes — if the literacy centres were not already open as was the case for all those in Marawi’a (due to the implementation of the first phase). In addition, as the literacy centres were set up in schools they often used classrooms which were in general already equipped129. If all the associations opened or ran the literacy centres as planned, the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development and the Bajil Association opened up more classes than planned in response to the considerable number of female students. In Bajil, the association was surprised by the rapid achievement and could not afford any more equipped classrooms for the significant number of students, such as the required furniture (tables and chairs). In Hajjah district, the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development doubled the number of literacy centres to reach 7 schools — in reality 8, but one had to close after an evaluation of SFD I130. The literacy centres opened through SOUL project are nearly all giving courses till today (except one in Bani Qais).

  • 131 For SOUL’s project the ambition was to integrate the teachers into the “regular” educational syste (...)
  • 132 In addition, a teacher in the school means being able to provide support during her free time to t (...)

207The associations were in charge of hiring and paying the teachers. In addition to this, SOUL trained its partner associations while SADA endorsed this task, controlling attendance — and reporting to the LAEO supervisor at a district or a governorate level. The training aimed to support the involvement of newly graduated teachers — in order to increase the number of female teachers in primary schools as well as teachers in the literacy centres which would attract higher number of female students131. The trainings were, in SOUL’s and SADA’s proposal, aimed at high school graduates — and for SADA, those who were living in the villages where the literacy centres were, in order to guaranty the sustainability and impact of the teachers in their village as a success story132. The training’s objective was difficult to fulfil. In fact, the teachers that were hired and trained were often confirmed teachers (sometimes with already about 6 years’ experiences teaching in literacy centres). The main reason for this situation is that very few girls graduate from high school — the reasons for this also have to with the selection criteria of the literacy centres. It is therefore, impossible to support newly graduated girls to work as teachers in literacy schools. In addition to which, the teachers were trained for the first time since they had started teaching. They were in need of being trained.

208If all the teachers got a salary, for most of them it was not enough to cover the transportation costs — see Bajil district. In addition to this, in Hajjah district as in Bajil, the budget provided by the association could not cover all the teachers’ salaries. As a result of which two teachers ended up sharing one salary (7,000 rials per month). Those teachers might as well be considered volunteers — as transportation costs had to be deduced from that salary too.

  • 133 The coordinator located in Marawi’a paid visits to each school every two weeks or two months. The (...)

209In SADA’s project a coordinator was hired to tour the literacy centres regularly and check on the teachers’ and the beneficiaries’ attendance and to solve any kind of problem133. SOUL did not appoint a person for such a mission.

  • 134 I could not figure out why al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development was unable to provide incen (...)
  • 135 Similar initiatives, that is, incentives for schooling were distributed by the World Food Program (...)

210Finally, in SOUL’s project, the associations, al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development, were in charge of distributing incentives to the students in the literacy classes at the end of the year and organizing skills training sessions for the teachers (al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development) who would then teach them to the students. The incentives were only distributed by the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development134. According to the association, the financial incentives attracted quite a few students but, the year after the project had ended, when the students discovered that no incentives would be distributed, quite a few left135. The association acknowledged that financial incentives were still effective and should be implemented along with other skills activities — such as sewing or handicraft courses.

  • 136 Today her salary is paid by the association as a sewing teacher.
  • 137 Is it due to the fact that the associations knew the activity would hardly be implemented? However (...)

211Moreover, the associations had to organize skills teachings in association with the Family Productive, and SOUL provided sewing machines to some literacy centres (between 2 and 3) which were used only in the School in Asma, where the classes targeted school students (as there were no literacy classes). The machines are — still today stocked in the teacher’s or the headmaster’s homes — as the schools suffers from a lack of space. The schools in general cannot devote a classroom to skills classes only Asma School could, out of all the centres toured. One woman, a former literacy class teacher, taught how to sew in Hajjah136. Today, her class is crowded and there are around 20 girls for only 2 machines for each course. Obviously, the number of machines is no way near enough in this case. In addition, despite the monitoring system with its evaluations, SOUL did not know that the activity had ever been implemented in the other literacy centres137.

212The skills training aimed at attracting girls and women to the literacy classes. This argument was supported by SOUL and the association members. If girls or women wished to benefit from skills courses, would this attract them to the literacy centres? Without denying the high demand for skills classes such as sewing, the success of the literacy centres did not seem to depend on it — as currently the number of students attending the literacy classes is often higher than the classrooms can take.

  • 138 According to the Final Technical Report some conflicts between the local council and Bajil associa (...)

213In conclusion, the associations gained in skills through the implementation of the awareness campaigns. However, the duration devoted to this activity renders the acquired skills basic or approximate — at least for the associations which implemented this activity for the first time. Nevertheless, knowledge on the impediments to girls’ education has been fully integrated by all the associations. Finally, the associations were also able to organize and run the literacy centres — most of them without any conflict with the authorities (LAEO representatives)138.

d- Sustainability of the projects

  • 139 The association declared that the benefits were high as they earned 1,000 rials per day (not takin (...)

214As already mentioned, the two senior associations had differing understandings of the concept of sustainability. In SOUL’s proposal project, sustainability was mainly based on the private sector — through the setting up of a trade. The associations identified the income generating project they wished to set up and SOUL financially supported it (up to 500,000 rials). After, once this first phase was accomplished, the associations implemented the project by themselves, no training or managerial support was planned in SOUL’s proposal or provided during the implementation. The associations regret the lack of any further support during this phase of the implementation, and in the field of management. Today, the only association which succeeded in running a trade is al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development, who opened up a shop. With the profits they earn from it (around 300,000 rials per year), they can currently provide for the salary of the teachers in the literacy centres. Al-Shahel Society for Women invested in a photocopier targeting schools and student clients. The association complained about the tiny budget because they could not buy a new machine. With the allowed budget, they could only afford a second-hand machine which broke down a few weeks after the project’s inauguration139. Today, the machine is in stock and no alternative solutions are planned or discussed. The last association, the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development is still looking for a good trade opportunity. After a short market study conducted by the director, they discovered that opening up a shop was not as profitable as say an internet cafe. But he needs the support of the Local Council to get the premises — for free — as the money provided by the project will not cover all the required expenses. The association director declared the money was still in the bank. Finally, income generating projects are very complex to set up and to get earnings from to support the project’s independence. This activity would by itself have taken much longer than planned to increase the chances of its success.

215If the sustainability concept was based on the private sector in SOUL’s proposal, in the field, the partner associations did not go along with it and lobbied for the employment of the teachers in the literacy classes. In fact, al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development got in touch with the LAEO supervisor to formalize the teachers’ positions. Unfortunately, the LAEO supervisor complained about the lack of budget which prevented them from hiring the teachers and lead to precarious situations — for teachers and students alike. Today, the literacy class teachers who benefited from the project are volunteers (without any salary), but they trained to be teachers.

216SADA’s project guaranteed its sustainability by lobbying to make the teachers’ positions official. SADA faced the same problem in Hodeidah as in Hajjah, the allocated budget for the literacy classes were not enough to pay the teachers’ salaries. The sustainability of the situation is uncertain, in some areas more than in others — due to commuting costs.

217SOUL’s Final Technical Report asserts that: the main achievement of this project has been its ability to create and train locally minded advocates for female education. Advocates from within these various regions are now equipped with the necessary tools to effectively network, fight for, seek funding for and effectively implement and support a variety of female educational activities that are adaptable to local circumstances. According to the report, the associations’ capacities would guaranty girls’ education advocacy for several people, but this has yet to happen. No association has raised any funds or lobbied to implement any project in this field — since the project ended. Finally, SADA’s Final Technical Report did not raise the question of sustainability.

218In conclusion, the project’s sustainability is always a very difficult issue in development projects. Income generating projects might be an answer but far from easy to get going — as SOUL’s example displays. Having the State take over and support the education project should be the solution but appeared almost impossible in the current context. Finally, the project shows that two year’s implementation is not enough time to guaranty the project’s sustainability.

Key Representatives of the Community

219The key representatives of the community encompass different actors with different functions in the projects.

a-The literacy class teachers

  • 140 Some of the teachers had been trained before through other projects (GTZ) after the training they (...)
  • 141 However, SADA’s proposal as well as the Final Technical Report mentioned that among the focus of t (...)

220They have been identified in the two projects as the beneficiaries of training in: communication skills (how to present oneself, talk in front of a class…), teaching methodology (for children and elders). The training length provided by SADA was longer and more varied in the raised subjects than what SOUL offered. All the teachers, from both projects, acknowledged that the trainings courses were well organized and useful and had an impact as it changed their attitude towards their students. They were grateful for the effort the project made for them. However, they complained about the short length of the training sessions — especially those provided by SOUL. None of the teachers had benefited from training before the implementation of the project140. Therefore, the subjects taught were new to the teachers and the information not always easy to assimilate in the limited amount of time devoted to training. Also, the teachers benefited from the training but its impact would have had been more significant had it been extended. In addition to this, one of the teachers part of SADA’s project declared he was willing to learn other subjects, as she had problems with the pedagogy. Some of her students hardly understood her classes and she wanted to learn new ways of explaining things clearly to the illiterate women141.

221Only one of the training sessions was criticized by the teachers, the skills activities provided by the Family Productive — in SOUL’s program. The practical skills such as sewing were taught on a black board in one day. But, learning how to sew needs to be practiced a long time for it to be an acquired skill. The training was not adapted and useless. As already mentioned, this activity was not implemented because the schools had no space to devote to this activity. Finally, the only place where it has been implemented did not target literacy class students as was laid out in the proposal but girls students at school.

  • 142 Actually, the salary is paid every two or three months.

222The teachers employed by SADA project earned 14,000 rials monthly142. In SOUL’s project today only al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development is financially able to support the costs of the salaries. In Beni Qais or in Hajjah district none of the teachers in the literacy centres have been hired by the State till this day. This means that the teachers work as volunteers, thereby affecting the regularity and the sustainability of the delivered classes. In addition to this, some of the teachers mentioned the heavy workload they had due to a lack of staff as they had to teach up to two classes at the same time (2nd and 3rd year in the literacy classes for instance).

b- Sheikhs, members of the Local Councils or imams

  • 143 Conflict between the associations and the local councils appeared only in Bajil district.

223They all knew about the project, meaning that the partner associations were well connected (if the association members were not actually on the Local Council or sheikh themselves)143. The targeted people were influential in the local community and were among the actors whose involvement was necessary in order to facilitate the opening of literacy classes or to spread awareness on girls’ education. According to them, the literacy centres are important as they value education. It appeared that some of the actors started to get involved in the literacy field, encouraged by the project. In Marawi’a, the director of Barqoqa association, who is a Sheikh, supported the opening of the literacy centre in his village and he is convinced that education is important for girls, which was not the case a few years back. Therefore, he tries to convince the population to allow the girls to study. Nevertheless, as already mentioned, it is difficult to assess the impact on the population of awareness discussions and campaigns, even with those specific groups.

c-The educational sector (headmasters, representative of the ministry of education or the LAEO) representatives

  • 144 The only exception was in Bajil district.

224They asserted that supporting the literacy classes was essential — as education is the premise to good development. However, they were not unanimous on the necessity to carry out awareness campaigns. Some representatives’ priority is on infrastructure and local staff (female teachers) — from the villages. They consider that the increasing number of girls at school will improve only with schools’ capacities — especially in hiring teachers from the village who can be a model for the female community and support female education on a daily base (teaching at night…). Finally, in all the districts the LAEO representatives were strongly supportive of the projects and worked well with the associations144.

d- The parent councils

225Mothers’ and fathers’ councils are among the identified targeted beneficiaries only in SOUL’s project. The mission of the parent councils, recently set up in Yemen, is to support school administration, to respond to student’s needs, to follow-up on school life. The council’s members meet regularly to solve various problems. SOUL’s partner associations supported the setting up of the parent councils or their activation (with the election of the parent council members). Then, the parent council attended the awareness campaigns on girls’ education. The success of the parent council depends on the head of the council. In Asma School, the head of the mother’s council is highly respected because she demonstrated support towards improving the teaching conditions. For instance, the mothers’ council gave a monthly salary to the English teacher as the education sector could not afford it. The mother’s council embellished the playground with plants and the classrooms with curtains, tries to financially support the poorest etc. Every week, the head of the mother’s council turned up with other women, went to females qat sessions to talk about the importance of girls’ education. The mothers’ council in Asma School is more active than the fathers’ council and represents a successful model. The impact of the council is obviously positive, for students and school administration alike. Unfortunately, such examples are rare.

226In conclusion, the two projects adopted a comprehensive approach in targeting diverse influential social and political groups in the local community and focusing on the education sector. It appears they succeeded in gathering support for both issues: girls’ education and fighting illiteracy —during the project’s implementation. Finally, the concrete impact in changing mind sets is difficult to assess.

Reflections on the Project Proposals and their Implementation

227Working in the development field is a complex matter. Between the planned project and its implementation a gap — more or less important — is always dug as long as activities are running. The following section aims at raising questions which might lead to reconsidering the approach implemented by the senior NGOs. The questions are less a critique of the projects than a general reflection on the mechanisms set up which lead to the senior associations’ development approach in the field of education sector.

a- Literacy Centre Concept

228The tool to fight illiteracy identified by both projects is the literacy centre. However, can we consider that the so-called literacy centre only fights illiteracy? In fact, the literacy centre’s ambition, under the umbrella of the LAEO, is to integrate its students into the “regular” school system. The aim is to allow males and females who dropped out of school or have never studied to integrate the school system. As a consequence, the curriculum of the literacy centres comprises several topics to acquire what is considered “general knowledge” that a 7th grade student should know. Thus, in this process each student has to learn how to read and write, but this is not the only objective of the literacy centres. Likewise, it would be incongruous to assert that classes from 1st to 6th grade in regular schools are literacy courses. Why would it be so for the literacy classes? As the report shows the literacy centres’ audience gathers various female age categories and, as a result, needs. The literacy centres should be adapted to the different needs by opening remedial classes and literacy classes.

  • 145 If the experience was based on poems invented by the women themselves, it is possible to imagine o (...)
  • 146 Not by teaching religious precepts or values.
  • 147 Some of the education sector representatives responded positively to this approach.

229Literacy centres should aim at teaching how to read and to write. Successful methods have already been implemented in Yemen, but due to the literacy centres’ misunderstood purpose those initiatives are ignored — by SOUL and SADA as well as others. For instance, the experience in literacy classes financed by the World Bank and developed by an anthropologist Najwa Adra, targeting rural women in Sada region was based on women poems145. This method offered several advantages. First, it is adapted to the local culture. It is easier for the women to digest the taught information. Second, the method is adapted to the youngest and the eldest. Also, it was aimed at the different ranges in the local population. Third, this method participated in assigning value to women’s knowledge146. These listed advantages are absent from the current literacy classes. This statement does not deny the necessity for literacy centres to exist. Literacy centres would profit in terms of their teaching impact if the women were gathered according to their needs147.

230Finally, it clearly appeared in the impact assessment of the literacy centres that its objective was not fulfilled; the students did not integrate the “regular” school system. The reasons for withdrawing from school are well known (as listed in the previous sections).

b- Women or Gender Approach?

  • 148 This is a deduction from my own readings. The relevance has been partly developed by the two assoc (...)

231Through the two projects, the literacy centres targeted only females or girls’ education through the awareness campaigns. The relevance of the project is based on the fact that the female schooling rate is lower than males and as a consequence that females suffer from gender shapeless position148. Therefore, education is seen as a tool to change gender relations and women’s positions in society. The impact assessment shows the literacy classes might not be the most appropriate tool to influence gender balance even if impacts in other domains exist (religious, personal or socialization). Would girls’ education at school have had a more significant impact on gender relation?

  • 149 Ministry of Education Book of Annual Achievements of 2007.
  • 150 For the Women National Committee, report 2008, males have always had more opportunities to benefit (...)

232The analysis of gender education situations as described is imprecise. In fact, the statement does not take into consideration the general increasing trend of girls’ enrolment in Yemeni schools — specifically in basic education. The number of children admitted in the first level was in 2007-2008, 46.1% of females and 53.9 of males showing an increasing percentage of girls’ admission in basic education even if, in rural areas, the gender gap is more significant. Moreover, a new phenomenon appeared 5 years ago, males dropping out both in rural and urban areas149 estimated for female students at 12.5 per cent compared to 14.1 for males150. Thus, the general picture is more complex than described.

  • 151 The percentage can be much higher in the targeted regions such as al-Bul’usse where only 4 boys st (...)

233The literacy centres as well as the awareness campaigns never raised the male issue. However, in the targeted areas, the percentage of illiterate boys can be significant (particularly in Hajjah) — around 15%, with a similar percentage of boys dropping out after 6th grade151. Nevertheless, the awareness campaigns implemented through the projects or as a common trend only focus on women — spreading the idea that males are not concerned by this issue. As the representatives of the literacy centres all asserted, if male students wish to learn how to read and write they hardly ever express it.

234The argument developed during the awareness campaigns spread a negative image of illiterate women reinforcing the idea that she is not only “bad” to herself but she is also harmful to her family and society — as the report displays. Offering a negative image of illiterate women through awareness campaigns cannot positively influence gender balance and relationships (and, on the contrary, participates in creating generational conflicts). The current situation is partly the result of donor policies which for years have focused exclusively on girls’ education and fighting illiteracy among women and not on fighting illiteracy as a whole— addressed to male and female. Developing projects based on asserting their right to education, with a specific concern to girls’ education would have been less harmful in terms of female image and gender relation (and in terms of conflict generations). Thus, a gender approach appears more appropriate than a woman approach.

c- Donor Policy Development and Implementation Process

235Each donor defines its own policy and regulations of the project’s implementation process. In setting up the frame of the project’s implementation, the donor strongly conditions its orientation, objectives and success.

236SFD’s policy is aimed at empowering women and vulnerable people through the strengthening of civil society — with the support from senior towards junior organizations. The impact assessment raises several questions concerning the senior/junior structure. First, this approach supposes that the senior association has sufficient skills in terms of developmental tools to teach others. Without denying the demonstrated capacities of the two associations in planning and implementing the projects, the project proposal analysis as well as the final technical reports and their implementation showed problems in using concepts and development tools (lack of thinking about the development approach, low understanding of civil society’s role, lack of PCM skills). In this context, the structure of senior/junior associations should either be improved (by redefining the criteria for a senior association, formalizing the relationship with the junior association…) or abandoned for another mechanism. The second impediment to the efficient implementation of this structure — senior/junior organization is the competition for funding in which all Yemeni CSO’s take part. No senior association is willing to improve the associations’ skills to the level that they can raise funds they themselves could apply for. If the associations acquired skills through the implementation of the two projects, it was rather limited knowledge. The senior associations’ desire to strengthen its juniors has to be seriously assessed before funding or monitored during the implementation phase.

237In addition to this, the project timeline is another main condition imposed by donor policy. According to the impact assessment, among the main impediment to a proper implementation of the project was the time limit. In the development field, one or two year projects are obviously not enough — especially when the ambition of the project is to work on values, mind-sets. Also, the short period of time cannot guaranty the sustainability of the project. In the specific context of SADA and SOUL’s projects, they would have needed three years for people to start graduating from the literacy centres, which questions the effectiveness of the two year project imposed by the SFD conditions.

  • 152 This measure can be accompanied with some technical support on project writing if the association (...)
  • 153 The assessment is important because it allows associations not skilful in using development tools (...)

238After setting their policy, the donor will define the procedure to follow up on the chosen partners. Mechanisms should support the appropriate execution of this step: first, by defining standards for the application form152; second, expertise in assessing the project proposals; third, in assessing partner associations for the project153. The full process can be accomplished internally or independently from the French Embassy.

239In addition to this, concerning the specific conditions imposed by the SFD I program on senior associations in order to strengthen the junior association’s structure, the criteria of senior association should be revised. If none of the associations reach the required level then either the structure should be altogether abandoned or extra support should be provided for, such as technical assistance (regarding training, support in setting up a monitoring system…). The expertise can be internal or independent from the French Embassy.

240The last step in the procedure process is the monitoring system and project evaluating. The assessment impact revealed lacks or deficiencies in the monitoring system. However, the tool is essential to the implementation phase, to re-orient project activities. The evaluation is not only a picture of the work accomplished but it also allows learning from past experience. As the impact assessment shows, the evaluation should be accomplished by an independent expert (external to the French Embassy and to the NGOs).

241Finally, if no donors currently directly support the literacy centres, education is the main sector attracting international donors. Thus, several donors have some experience in education projects which could be investigated before funding any project in order to learn and to coordinate. Donor coordination meetings are held on a regular basis.

3- Lessons Learned

242The impact assessment is a snapshot of an implemented project after a certain amount of time whereas working in the development field is a continual learning process. SOUL and SADA learned from their experience. For instance, SOUL has already changed part of its approach. In implementing a project on Promoting Women’s and Children’s Right in Hajjah Governorate, the project proposal strongly supported the partner associations through extended training and in implementing a gender approach. Thus, the impact assessment of the two projects should not be taken as a permanent image of the associations’ skills as development is an on-going process.

Donor Policy Development

  • Donors define the policy as well as regulations regarding the implementation process. The development process is long and cannot be reduced whatever its project objective. Therefore, the policy should be designed with long term projects in mind, not limited to two years. Project selection should be based on expertise (sound knowledge of the field of work gender, development and civil society) and on assessing the partner associations — assessment which can make up for possible lacks in proposal writing skills. In addition to this, the donor should support a proper implementation of the monitoring system — through external expertise if necessary. Finally, the evaluation has to be carried out by an independent expert.
  • Skilled donor staff regarding gender issues (that is, experienced in development) is essential for the implementation of gender projects. Gender approach is considered a cross-cutting issue and as such is tackled in all projects. However, gender projects often suffer from unskilled staff which is, as the report shows, among the impediments to the project’s correct implementation. The donor’s mission is to support its partners, not to impose their own vision of development but accompany the associations in identifying and responding to the population’s needs. Skilled staff should participate in setting up appropriate development approaches with the partners.
  • Strengthening the associations is a complex objective — particularly due to the association’s internal issues. The mechanisms set up by SFD I to strengthen civil society should seriously be reassessed. The first question raised through the impact assessment is the feature of civil society its independence from the political sphere as well as its representativeness and legitimacy. In addition to this, the second interrogation raised is: What are the required skills for an association to qualify as a “senior association”? Does the senior association have the required skillset to teach other associations? For instance, questions such as “What are the criteria for selecting a suitable location for opening up literacy classes?” or “Who should the awareness campaigns target?” should have been raised by the senior association — who should have taught the juniors how to find the answer to their queries. The role of the senior association should not only be to provide skills but mainly to provide guidance about a development approach (the said questions should have been raised before implementing the project…). Thus, this interrogation leads to others: should the criteria to appoint a senior association be revised? Is the senior/junior organizations structure a relevant tool to improve the junior’s skills, support its independence and project ownership? If not what is the best mechanism to strengthen civil society?
  • Donor coordination and sharing lessons learned is another substantial tool for development work. The education sector has received considerable support from international donors over many years. Models have been developed to respond to the low level of girls’ education and the lessons to be learned identified. The implementation of a project in this field should be integrated into the overall program for the education sector and should be inspired by their prior experience — not working isolated from donor projects.

Development/Gender Approach and Literacy Classes

  • Development approach: Working in development is complex and critiques easy to formulate. However, the impact assessment shows that a lack in the development approach impedes the correct implementation of the project — and not necessarily a lack in mastering development tools. Interrogating is an essential tool to go beyond preconceived notions and to support the reorientation of the activities’ implementation so as to best respond to the needs in the field and thus represents the heart of the development field. In other words, development tools (PCM, logical framework, reporting skills…) can support the correct implementation of the project because they help in identifying the objectives, activities project... However, nothing is as important as the development approach (the questioning).
  • Gender approach: In all fields, gender approach is fruitful and is a way of avoiding any number of potential conflicts between men and women or to create gender shapeless relationships. The project targeted women, following the main SFD objective on women empowerment and undermined male involvement in different aspects. For instance, the message spread during the awareness campaigns could have been based on promoting human rights in the educational system — including girls. It is no surprise that projects focused on women empowerment lead, after many years of implementation, to an increase in the population’s reluctance regarding the woman approach — asking for attention to be given to men too.
  • Literacy classes: As mentioned before, the development field of work requires to go beyond preconceived notions, such as in the presented projects, questioning the literacy classes’ aim (Are they exclusively literacy classes? Are they adapted to the targeted population’s needs?). The impact assessment shows that the senior associations (as well as the donor) followed up on the general trend in supporting literacy centres without questioning their capacities to meet the targeted population’s needs. As its analysis was found wanting, the associations did not work on improving the current system for a greater success in terms of impact and not just in terms of frequency (such as the literacy centres being successful in terms of student enrolment).

Notes

1 Blandine Destremau (coordinator), Safa’a Rawiah, Antelak al-Mutawakel et Gabool al-Mutawakel, (YLDF), “FSD Evaluation” (Evaluation du FSD/Société Civile), n° 2003/84, Mars 2005-Juin 2010, 11 Février 2009.

2 As will be explained further on, the impact assessment did not fulfil those expectations.

3 A logical framework was not required in the SFD I application form but senior associations were required to provide one for the Final Technical Report.

4 SOUL’s application was in French, the goals stated are my own translation.

5 The two weeks were divided as following: from the 20th to the 27th of April in Hajjah governorate and from the 28th of April to the 4th of June in Hodeidah governorate.

6 See appendix 1.

7 Other aspects can be reviewed in the impact such as the contribution towards poverty reduction; and spread between economic growth, salaries and wages, foreign exchange, and budget. Those aspects have not been treated though, as they are not relevant to the impact assessment of the education projects.

8 Asma School (Beni Qais).

9 In the district of Shahel, no literacy centres have been supported. The names of the visited centres are: Bulu’usse (Beni Qais), al-Djanad (Hajjah district), al-Najd (Hajjah district), Asma School (Marawi’a), Khalifa (Marawi’a), Mahd al-Awsat (Marawi’a), Muhsan Dhanat (Bajil), Dir al-Djabalia (Bajil).

10 The association deduced that literacy courses were not needed anymore once an all-girl school opened up. During the field trip, the director of Asma School expressed the need for literacy courses and the director of the association declared he would support that.

11 Beni Qais is located an hour away from Hajjah city. But Shahel is a five hour drive from the city. The distances and the short amount of time did not allow us to stay more than one day in Shahel.

12 Thus, the program for literacy classes is adapted to illiterates but the subjects studied are the same as in regular schools.

13 Isolation is often understood in terms of a lack of infrastructures: roads, water, supplying electricity and schools.

14 For instance, according to the LAEO head in Bajil, the identified literacy centres were too small and could not host the high number of female students. Today, the association has had to open new classes due to the overcrowded classrooms.

15 Khalifa students (Hodeidah) refused to study on the primary school premises, located next to the road and market. They moved to a former school in disrepair in the middle of one village. In addition, in al-Bul’usse the literacy centre was hosted by the health centre and not the school which was inexistent.

16 This was not the case in Beni Qais where the literacy centres were set up close to the villages.

17 The literacy centres in Marawi’a were older and already had literacy classes set up before the project’s implementation.

18 This statement will be explained in the following development.

19 A Sheikh in Bajil distributed incentives to the men (flour) to encourage them to study which turned out to be a success — at least while the flour was still distributed.

20 This issue will be discussed in the following development.

21 The ToR were not designed for this assessment being initially aimed at broader project panels.

22 In this article their names have been changed deliberately in order to preserve their anonymity.

23 On the chart in appendix 2, teachers are mentioned as beneficiaries. This is because, as part of the project Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program, one activity was supporting “creative initiatives” e. g. sewing courses.

24 Female age is sometimes approximate as they do not always know their date of birth. This statement is especially true of women above the age of 25 — but can also be the case for younger women.

25 Information gathered from the chart in appendix 2.

26 It is possible if the girl finishes third year in the literacy classes which was the case.

27 Their interview would have been relevant if the point had been the impact on the female environment.

28 In the project proposal presented by SADA, Bajil Association is mentioned in the district of al-Marawi’a which seems to be a mistake as the association is based in Bajil.

29 In the Final Technical Report the information given is different. It is asserted that Siham cooperation is facing internal problems. It is never mentioned that the association was not a partner. In fact, in the section impact of the Technical Final Report written by SADA, all the associations considered partners have improved their financial and administrative skills.

30 If in the field, the director of SADA informed me about this issue, in the Final Technical Report (written by the project coordinator) it is mentioned that the restructuration of the association concerns Siham cooperative.

31 For instance, one of the members, a sheikh was first introduced — and presented himself as a key representative of the community who supported the awareness-raising campaigns for the local population. It was few days later I discovered he was member of Barqoqa association too but the association did not directly implement activities — such as awareness campaigns.

32 Their mission is to register the associations.

33 The criteria of selection are: officially registered and certified by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour; located in rural areas; have a fixed headquarter; acceptable record of projects; focus on education, literacy programs and women related issues; qualified staff in education.

34 The coordinator is a member of her family (among the most important Sheikh family in the area).

35 See the ToR which developed each theme.

36 As already mentioned, the guidelines were set up before the projects were chosen and some themes did not fit in with the implemented activities designed by the senior associations.

37 This question was exclusively addressed to students who had never been to school before the literacy classes.

38 Those questions were only asked if electricity was supplied in the area.

39 After which, I would often ask if their husbands, fathers or other members of the family were literate.

40 This question was asked only in Hajjah district because incentives had been given to students in the first year of implementing SOUL’s project.

41 If so, do you go to visit them for certain events?

42 This question was addressed only to LAEO representatives.

43 The women were sitting in the only room of the literacy centre.

44 In my personal experience, having carried out, for years, such interviews in Yemeni homes, the reluctance encountered is difficult to understand. Did it come from the students themselves, from the heads of villages or from other actors?

45 I decided not to stay more than a day in each literacy centre in order to avoid this bias. In fact, carrying out interviews over a rather long period of time allowed me to get hold of different student groups within the same class.

46 As mentioned before a small majority of girls had already studied which is not the case of the elderly women as there was no school at the time.

47 For instance, in al-Bul’usse the interviews were difficult to carry out as the women were reluctant to answer questions. The reasons are difficult to figure out. Did they understand the questions as their accent was different from mine? Were they intimidated by me? Afraid of not being able to give the rights answer — in the right Arabic? There are no roads leading to this area and there are only limited infrastructures — no electricity, no water supply, no schools or no hospitals. Television sets have yet to make an appearance in the houses there, and people hardly ever seem to listen to the radio. Thus, the population in general has more trouble understanding the different local accents than in other areas where the presence of the television or radio participates in spreading a common language. As a consequence of which, the women’s reluctance to answer make it difficult to formulate an analysis on the impact of the literacy classes. At the end of the day, it is preferable to select a girl or a woman who is talkative — even if this means the selection is biased.

48 The planning of the field work was decided nearly a month in advance, with the agreement of the association coordinator who quit two days before the beginning. After which, the coordinator was travelling during all the field work period and was quickly interviewed in Sana’a on his way back to Marawi’a district to attend the local council’s internal election. The period to carry out the field work was difficult for a lot of the other associations’ members due to internal elections for local council members. As it will be mentioned in the following development, several of the partner associations’ members were involved in the local councils.

49 An association member was interviewed but had partial knowledge of the project’s activities.

50 He accompanied me to other districts such as Bajil, even if it was not under his authority.

51 In addition to this, as will be discussed in the following development, the written project lacked in clarity regarding the objectives, activities and expected results. Also, it could not be used as a reference to carry out the field work which added to the difficulties regarding the logistics and influenced the results of the impact assessment.

52 Also, none of the different literacy centres visited offered preparatory classes.

53 The French Embassy only had a few documents in its possession, only the project proposal and no Final Technical Report. This lack could not be compensated by donor or association interviews as managers changed several times on both sides. Does this explain why the French Embassy did not keep any record of the Final Technical Report provided specifically by SOUL? In addition to this, no mid-term reports were required for the projects — even for SADA’s two-year project. See in the following the list of documents linked with SOUL’s project and the reference to the impact assessment: Project Proposal for Funding under the French “Social Fund for Development”, Junior LNGO Capacity Building Program (Basic Education Component) 2006-2007, Appendixes (no title to this document which presents the proposal for the second phase of SOUL’s project), The Final Technical Report. See in the following the list of documents lined with SADA’s project: Improving Girls’ Education in Rural Yemen, a Community Wide Effort (phase 1), Identification du projet, Améliorer l’éducation des filles dans le Yémen rural: un effort communautaire Phase 2 and the Rapport Technique Final, (author: Dr. Noor Muhammad Bâ ‘abbad) (French and Arabic versions).

54 The efficiency will be properly reviewed in the following section on the impact assessment activities and the sustainability project aspect will be raised partly in the following section. In addition, as mentioned before, the impact assessment is not a project evaluation. Thus, the evaluation criteria will not be deeply examined in this section. However, it is essential for a correct understanding of the impact assessment to offer an overview of the different projects.

55 The objectives are reproduced from the Project identification, p. 7, 9 and 11.

56 The report does not mention the specific objective could not be reached, and does not mention any activity linked to it. Thus, the report does indirectly acknowledge that this objective was not finally adopted by the project.

57 The budget provided for each association was defined according to their action plans. It is not the mission of the impact assessment to review budget efficiency. However, one may wonder why such a small difference (1635 euro) in the amounts allocated to the Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development and the al-Shahel Society for Women while the first association had a lot more activities.

58 The activities are reproduced from the Project identification, p. 7-12.

59 Those figures do not even appear in the Final Technical Report.

60 Their number varies depending on the association in charge, 20 for al-Shahel Society for Women and al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and only 12 for Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development.

61 7 for al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development and 2 for Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development.

62 The reasons for this will be discussed in the next section.

63 See the Project identification, p. 4, objective number 3: ‘Increasing the number of female teachers, and improving their skills’.

64 See the Project identification, p. 8 point number 2 in the activities: ‘Fence two schools in and build bathrooms’. The Final report does not explain this change in the plan. Was this issue discussed with the French Embassy and was it accepted?

65 The project proposal does not precise the kind of support they should afford.

66 Building infrastructure would have been among the mechanism but it was withdrawn from the project. As already mentioned the project was implemented in Hajjah and in Hadramawt. The partner associations in the latter governorate identified activities not implemented in Hajjah such as: ‘Motivating girls to continue their education in the main districts and sub-districts through providing incentives for female students in targeted schools and paying for transportation costs of grade nine female students’ (see Project identification, p. 15).

67 The phrase is confusing but the expected result means: enrolled girls and high school graduate teachers to primary school.

68 Over a year and a half cleave the two projects. One may wonder if the 2nd project really is a follow-up to the first phase as no activities were implemented by SADA in between the two.

69 The project analysis was difficult to carry out as both the project proposal and the Final Technical Report present confusing wording, a misleading use of concepts or system of thoughts and imprecisions in the provided information on the activities’ implementation. As a consequence of which, the following analysis has re-organized the different objectives and activities to better understand the underlying logic of the proposal. If the interview with SADA director was enlightening, some aspects of the project might still not all have been identified and the following analysis may suffer from this.
Finally, the project proposal was presented in French. All the following quotes from the project proposal are my own translation from the French version. The quotes from the Final Technical Report are a translation from the original version in Arabic — as the French Translation presented misleading sentences.

70 According to the re-interpretation of the project proposal’s specific objectives, three distinct activities were identified.

71 If 30 sessions were organized by 9 partner organizations, that means that more than 3 sessions are to be held by each of them. In which case, one may wonder what is the point in training 9 different organizations for such a low number of sessions. In addition to this, it raises other interrogations, such as: What will be the experience and the acquired skills of each association by implementing only 3 times an awareness session?

72 According to SADA director this was addressed to people in charge of schools and handling children’s private problems on how to deal with them.

73 In the original version, no precision is given about the organizations, who the administrative members and the sociology specialists are.

74 The answer to the question on how the awareness campaigns were carried out was unclear as the LAEO manager did not know the project proposal very well, and asserted that television was also used (after having confirmed that with SADA’s director). Finally it appeared the awareness sessions were done only through discussions. Is it a result of the lessons learned from the first phase? Is discussion more effective than the other ways of communicating?

75 The wording is misleading. In fact, 5 classes were opened in the first phase and the 22 classes mentioned encompass the ones already existing. Thus, 17 classes are concerned by the new phase of the project. In addition to which, setting up some classes does not suggest that all the classes were furnished as the schools already possess the required material. Finally, each literacy centre needs three separate classrooms (for levels 1, 2 and 3) to fulfil the full cycle. In other words, 5 to 6 literacy centres are planned to be opened in the proposal project.

76 It clearly appears in the wording of this activity that some ideas are inappropriately articulated. This activity is exclusively based on training and hiring teachers and furnishing the classes while opening up classes cannot be built upon this activity. For instance, no selection of the location is mentioned. The supervision of the literacy classes is discussed in another section without linking this one, etc.

77 The wording is confusing as from the age of 6 to 8 girls do not have to reintegrate the school system but rather to integrate it, as they do not need to update knowledge not previously acquired. However, SADA’s director repeated the same argument that between the age of 6 to 8 girls have to be re-integrated.

78 It has to be mentioned that this information is in the objectives proposal. If I moved it in with the activities is because it appears to me to be its appropriate place.

79 Running both activities at the same time is impossible due to the lack of space. The report was written by Dr. Noor Muhammad Bâ ‘abbad, who signs it as it the project director. She was in charge of writing the Final Technical Report considered by SADA as being an independent evaluation. Finally, during the field work, she was not presented as the project director but as a trainer and SADA’s director was the one who answered questions regarding impact assessment. The Final Technical Report does not precisely identify the districts targeted by the preparatory classes. The literacy centres toured could not afford any preparatory classes, but according to SADA’s director it was the case in other villages. The criteria of the selected villages are not mentioned in the project proposal, nor in the Final Technical Report.

80 Actually, objective 2 mentioned this activity. In order to help understand the underlying logic of the proposal, I thought it more suitable to move it to this paragraph on activities as it should not be perceived as being part of the project objectives.

81 According to the titles of the last two training sessions it is difficult to figure out their exact content.

82 Once again, this information is provided in the objectives but, in order to ensure a better understanding of the project proposal, I thought it more appropriate to move it to the activities’ description.

83 In the Arabic version, this part was not translated.

84 The Technical Final Report reproduces several mistakes — especially in the logical framework, in imprecise or inexact wording and inappropriate idea organization, displaying lacks in development concepts (such as impact, activities…)…

85 It appears that this expected result is inexact as literacy classes have students all the way till 6th grade. Therefore, the students graduating from literacy classes reach 7th grade and not 9th grade as asserted.

86 This is a translation from the French version.

87 Implementing this activity would raise the question of its impact. One can wonder if a one-day workshop is suitable tool to support the project sustainability.

88 As the beneficiaries of the preparatory classes are girls between the ages of 6 to 8 they were not interviewed.

89 The senior associations were aware of the complexity of the issue but did not have the expertise in this area, nor the staff and finance to respond to all these issues.

90 None of the interviews were recorded. Recording is not accepted by all the women and often breaks the fragile complicity that I was trying to create during the interview. Moreover, interview transcripts are time-consuming. The time devoted to field work did not allow such a method. I decided to give a summary of the interview (summaries which were written up daily, during the field work, after carrying out the interviews).

91 Which is not the case for the health courses.

92 Called in dialect ‘halqa’ the sessions were organized in a neighbour’s home, where a woman teaches the Koran. In some rural areas, centres have been opened by the projects but not in the targeted regions.

93 Over the age of thirty this idea is not raised.

94 It is obvious that this aspect of a mother’s role is a new trend. A few years ago no one would have thought the role of woman was to teach to her children when they are not studying. This explains why women over the age of thirty do not mention this aspect.

95 Growing with the spread of specific religious values in society.

96 The discourse could be analysed in all fields linked to women. For instance, in the family planning field, awareness campaigns and studies always aim at showing that literate women are capable of having a regular contraceptive method, which would not be the case for illiterate women.

97 The question asked was: why do you study in the literacy classes? To which none of the girls answered they wanted to study at school.

98 As mentioned before, students between the ages of 10 to 13, were not interviewed but it is plausible they would express even more strongly the will to integrate the school system. But this is only a hypothesis which needs to be studied.

99 Some of the students have to leave their village to settle closer to the school as was the case of al-Bul’usse where only 4 boys were studying at the secondary school.

100 Those reasons have to be added to the first identified situation.

101 In other areas school is in the afternoon. In one school in Murawi’a, there are too many students in primary school for the classrooms to take. The headmaster decided to split the students up into two shifts in the morning instead of operating one shift in the afternoon.

102 In which case, the impediment puts into question the impact of the awareness campaigns. Could it reach its objective to change the population’s perception of education — especially of illiterates?

103 There are no statistics on the number of girls who integrate the “regular” school system.

104 Socialization was more important in Hajjah than in Hodeidah governorate where the majority of the literacy centres attract students from the same village and more exceptionally from other close villages.

105 The students might have been afraid that the purpose of the visit was to close down the literacy classes?

106 In the targeted literacy centres, the partner associations were in charge of the distribution of all the books.

107 Some of the students did not know that they only had part of the required books to study the entire three-year cycle.

108 In al-Bul’usse the students do not celebrate because as they declared, they do not know how to bake cakes.

109 Girls and young women might be able to understand as they might have been used to the vocabulary employed and images support the words.

110 This was asked to some of the students.

111 But one can wonder if their level is not in general lower due to the specific and difficult teaching conditions.

112 It was not part the impact evaluation mission to review the program of the literacy classes. Also, according to the teachers, the reasons for such difficulties are due to the fact that the program taught in the first level corresponds to a highest level than in regular classes.

113 In Shahel district, local council members estimate less than half of the population has no access to water supply. In mountainous areas water is even scarcer than in other parts of the country. In addition, fetching water is not a specific woman’s issue. If this appeared to be the case in the mountains in Hajjah governorate, it is a shared task with men in al-Bul’usse in the valley of Hajjah. In fact, men and women go to the well on a daily basis, even if this task is still considered a female one.

114 It shows different things; she did not go to the literacy classes for any another reason than learning; she was serious and determined.

115 If SOUL seems unaware that its coordinator in Shahel is the Local Council social affairs’ overseer, SADA headquarters knew about the context in which they had been working since 2005. This situation did not raise question as some of SADA’s members themselves hold high-ranking positions in the government. In this case, is this situation due to a lack of understanding of the concept of civil society?

116 It is not the mission of this consultancy to understand why sheikhs are involved in associations. However, it could be worthwhile to understand their motivations.

117 As it is not the mission of this consultancy to inquire about the origins of the people, it is therefore impossible to know their social background.

118 They were not in charge of leading the evaluation of the project.

119 Did the senior organization understand the purpose of the monitoring system?

120 He suggested that, in each village, one man should be designated as a representative and would benefit from the training. Awareness campaign would for instance be carried out by the representative. He would be able to identify the community’s needs and to collaborate with the associations in order to implement the activities.

121 In fact, awareness sessions are hardly efficient after only one or two visits. Awareness is always a long term process which needs constant effort and different ways to spread its message.

122 The population in Hajjah does not do excisions.

123 Is early marriage linked with girls dropping out? Even if the link is commonly established by several actors in the education field — such as the associations involved in the project — it is worthwhile to analyse the situation more precisely. Without denying that early marriage can be linked to girls dropping out, in some cases, it is not so. Without precise figures it is difficult to state, but if a majority of the girls dropping out are between the ages of 12 and 14 and they marry around 17 — which was not the case for any of the students interviewed as none of them were married — then the argument of causal effect is invalid. In addition to this, girls quite often pursue their studies after getting married, in some areas.

124 No other field of work for women was mentioned.

125 The message of the awareness campaigns could be based on the acceptance by the population of school conditions: mix schools should not be an impediment to girls’ education or that girls or women can cover an important distance to study. Those issues are among the main impediment to girls’ education, that and the non-integration of the students into the regular school system, but are not socially accepted cannot be discussed openly. This explains why only limited approaches were used to carry the message.

126 Reporting, monitoring systems and evaluations are development tools which would have allowed the information to get to SOUL.

127 Among the arguments raised, none of them were linked with the geographical situation of the school — close to the market which can be a reason for female students dropping out. All the reasons listed are not specific to the targeted governorates. Nevertheless, each district has its own needs.

128 In some areas like Beni Qais the number of boys dropping out from school reaches 15% according to the representative of the Ministry of Education office.

129 This was not the case in Muhsan Dhanat (Bajil) for instance.

130 The evaluators took pictures of the students which provoked the anger of the inhabitants. Under public pressure, the literacy centres had to close.

131 For SOUL’s project the ambition was to integrate the teachers into the “regular” educational system.

132 In addition, a teacher in the school means being able to provide support during her free time to the students.

133 The coordinator located in Marawi’a paid visits to each school every two weeks or two months. The schools located in Bajil were much less visited — due to the absence of roads, the distance to get to them from Marawi’a and the fact the coordinator had to pay for her transportation (out of her monthly salary of 20,000 rials).

134 I could not figure out why al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development was unable to provide incentives to the students.

135 Similar initiatives, that is, incentives for schooling were distributed by the World Food Program in Bani Qais during the same period as the implementation of SOUL’s project. During the distribution period, girls’ enrolment was higher than for boys — in Asma school for instance. The distribution ended and the number of girl students dropped down to the same rate as before the incentive measure. Several actors in the education sector (headmasters, education office supervisors, LAEO supervisors, teachers) acknowledged that the project was a success and wished that such an initiative could be done again on the long term. Other than the question of principle of such an initiative, its real impact and sustainability are the main issues.

136 Today her salary is paid by the association as a sewing teacher.

137 Is it due to the fact that the associations knew the activity would hardly be implemented? However, the associations designed the action plan and choose the implementation of this activity. Then, some questions are pending why they did not inform SOUL? Why not refuse to implement this activity or think of a different way of implementing it — look for another centre for the literacy classes? Why did the monitoring system not allow the re-orientation of these activities? Why did SOUL’s evaluation not reveal this aspect of the activities?

138 According to the Final Technical Report some conflicts between the local council and Bajil association took place but did not prevent the proper implementation of the literacy centres.

139 The association declared that the benefits were high as they earned 1,000 rials per day (not taking into account the employee’s salary and fixed costs). Moreover, it appeared that neither SOUL nor the associations had assessed the risks in buying a machine that was impossible to repair in Shahel.

140 Some of the teachers had been trained before through other projects (GTZ) after the training they attended within the projects. They could compare the quality of the two trainings.

141 However, SADA’s proposal as well as the Final Technical Report mentioned that among the focus of the training were pedagogy courses.

142 Actually, the salary is paid every two or three months.

143 Conflict between the associations and the local councils appeared only in Bajil district.

144 The only exception was in Bajil district.

145 If the experience was based on poems invented by the women themselves, it is possible to imagine other reference texts such as songs, nursery rhymes, short stories…

146 Not by teaching religious precepts or values.

147 Some of the education sector representatives responded positively to this approach.

148 This is a deduction from my own readings. The relevance has been partly developed by the two associations.

149 Ministry of Education Book of Annual Achievements of 2007.

150 For the Women National Committee, report 2008, males have always had more opportunities to benefit from trainings.

151 The percentage can be much higher in the targeted regions such as al-Bul’usse where only 4 boys studied out of several villages.

152 This measure can be accompanied with some technical support on project writing if the association is not skilled in this area. As the impact evaluation shows the evaluation is very difficult to carry out when the project proposal does not meet a minimum of required information — as in the field work people are not always knowledgeable.

153 The assessment is important because it allows associations not skilful in using development tools to demonstrate other capacities.

Table des illustrations

Légende Table 1: Breakdown of interviews based on district(1 Asma School and al-Bul’usse;2 al-Djanad and al-Nagd;3 Asma School, Mahd al-Awsat — 1 in 3 groups — 5 groups of 2 for both, and one individual in Khalifa;4 Muhsan Dhanat and Dir al-Djabalia 2, respectively 2 and 3 groups of 2.)
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/1676/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 71k
Légende Table 2: Average age of female students in literacy centres based on location and governorates
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/1676/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 105k
Légende Table 3: Age repartition of female interviewees(5 The total is 61, not 64, as 3 women benefited from the sewing courses and not the literacy classes. Therefore, they are not accounted in this table.)
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/1676/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 78k
Légende Table 4: Key representatives of the local community interviewed(6 The number of people encountered is higher. Indeed, interviews of this group were carried out with a number of other people — assistant to the school director, other employees in the educational sector. People who took part in the interviews also participated by adding to the information provided here; 7 GTZ is leading a project on education with a specific concern to girls’ education but not on literacy classes.)
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/1676/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 223k
Légende Table 5: Repartition of the objectives depending on the partner associations(8 Association 1: al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development;9 Association 2: Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development;10 Association 3: al-Shahel Society for Women.)
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/1676/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 142k
Légende Table 6: Repartition of activities depending on the partner associations(11 al-Taqwa for Charity and Social Development;12 Sons of Sharagi Society for Charity and Social Development;13 al-Shahel Society for Women.)
URL http://books.openedition.org/cefas/docannexe/image/1676/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 103k

© Centre français d’archéologie et de sciences sociales, 2011

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