END-LINE EVALUATION OF THE PROJECT ENTITLED “FIT 4 BETTER LIFE PHASE I PROJECT AYSSAITA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME” IMPLEMENTED IN AYSSAITA DISTRICT, AFAR REGION (JANUARY 2017 – DECEMBER2021).

Game Changers Consulting PLC in collaboration with Development Expertise Center (DEC) has conducted project end-line evaluation in Afar, Aysaita. Fit 4 Better Life (F4BL) Project Ayssaita Community Development Program was implemented in Afar National Regional State of Ayssaita District, from January 2017 – December 2021 that has been funded by Kinder Not Hilfe (KNH). The overall objective of the project was to contribute to the wellbeing of children by creating a conducive environment for their growth and development. Development Expertise Center (DEC), implementer of this project, is a National Civil Society Organization founded in 2007 with the objective of contributing towards the national development efforts through integrated, decentralized and sustainable program interventions. It has been re-registered in May 2019 as per the new civil society organization Proclamation by the Ethiopian government bearing a registration number of 0009. DEC has a long-term experience in gender equality and women’s empowerment, child development, Advocacy on local accountability and protection of environments and natural resources.  DEC has implemented this child development, protection and education project in Afar region of Ayssaita District in collaboration with the local government and the community as part of its development endeavors. As per the life span of the project, the first phase of this project has been completed in December 2021. DEC was interested to conduct final evaluation of the project by external evaluators to assess its project achievement and performance against the target/plan. Game Changers Consulting PLC was selected to conduct this final evaluation assignment. A descriptive study design was employed using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and analysis. The qualitative and quantitative data were generated from primary and secondary sources and collected through key informant interview (KII), focus group discussion (FGD), physical observation and field visits, and desk review methods respectively. Moreover, the evaluation consulted the OECD’s DAC-evaluation framework to view efficiency, relevance, effectiveness, equitability, and sustainability of the F4BL project. The evaluation found that the project achieved remarkable results in improving the targeted children’s wellbeing and positively impacted on the education interventions significantly improved children enrolment rate, access to quality education, reduced dropouts as well as attrition rates and improved gender equity (girls’ enrolment). The changes brought in terms of education quality (through capacitating school facilitators, teachers, school managements, PTSA members  and provision of school materials), Access to early learning education (with mobile school and kindergarten approach), enhancing parents’ role on holistic child development, and achievement on building of resilience community through promotion of each project implementing areas and results obtained thereof are encouraging. Percent of primary schools implemented the five pillars of quality education achieved 125% from the target and about 119% of children improved their educational performance by constructing, furnishing and equipping 10 primary schools. Furthermore, the F4BL project has built Communities Resilience Capacity of a pastoralist community to increase their preparedness from different natural and manmade risks and shocks via establishing community managed disaster risk reeducation (CMDRR) and early warning information sharing groups and providing skill training on income diversification and on-farm and off-farm participation as alternative income source for having better life for children’s. Although DEC via its F4BL project invested a lot in improving quality of education and access in Ayssaita, more effort is required to enhance the project initiatives with the district, in the regions as well as in other region with similar pastoralist settings.