External evaluation of Iraq Foundation project regarding Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens; through Support to the Iraqi council of Representatives and Civil Society
Sweden’s cooperation agreement with Iraq Foundation regarding Improving Policy, Service Delivery, Gender Equality and Responsiveness to Iraqi Citizens; through Support to the Iraqi council of Representatives and Civil Society was governed by Sweden’s strategy for development cooperation with Iraq in 2017 – 2021. The framework of the cooperation with Iraq focused on peacebuilding and statebuilding with the aim to contribute to a peaceful society, respect for human rights and gender equality. The Iraq Foundation project was assessed to be in line with the Strategy, and contributes to the following result areas:
Peaceful and inclusive societies
- Enhanced capacity in public institutions at different levels and improved opportunities for participation in democratic and peacebuilding processes, not least for women.
- Better conditions for civil society to organise, focusing particularly on peacebuilding and human rights work, including for boys and girls.
- Increased participation by women in democratic and peacebuilding processes
The aim of this assignment was to evaluate the relevance, effectivness and sustainability of the intervention and 1) formulate recommendations on how the management team could improve and adjust the implementation, 2) use the recommendations as an input to the decision on how to improve the sustainability of results could be achieved in similar future projects, and 3) provide Sida with valuable information to be considered in the process of developing suggestions to a possible new Swedish development cooperation strategy with Iraq.
The target groups of the project was within the parliament and its governance structure, CoR as well as civil society participation. This included IF collaboration partners at development organisations in Iraq, for example UNWOMEN and UNAMI.
The questions of the evaluation were further:
- To which extent has the project conformed to the needs and priorities of the beneficiaries?
- To what extent has the intervention objectives and design responded to beneficiaries’ and partner/institution needs, policies, and priorities, and have they continued to do so if/when circumstances have changed?
- To what extent has lessons learned from what works well and less well been used to improve and adjust project implementation?
- To which extent has the project contributed to intended outcomes? If so, why? If not, why not?
- To what extent has the intervention achieved, or is expected to achieve, its objectives, and its results, including any differential results across groups?
- Has the M&E system delivered robust and useful information that could be used to assess progress towards outcomes and contribute to learning?
- Is it likely that the benefits of the project are sustainable?
- To what extent will the beneficiary within the intervention continue, or are likely to continue?
- To what extent have the Beneficiaries devoted time and resources for the completion of the project during the project time?
- What is the level of project ownership from the side of the Beneficiary, are they ready to build on the project achievements and carry on
- Has the project contributed to knowledge on interlinks between decisions and poverty and oppression reduction in the political process among the target group? How?
- Has the project been implemented in accordance with the rights perspective?
- Has the project contributed the empowerment of female parliamentarians in their role?
- Has the project contributed towards a gender integrated perspective throughout the project?
Have target groups been participating in project planning, implementation and follow up? Has anyone been discriminated by the project through its implementation? Has the project been implemented in a transparent fashion? Are there accountability mechanisms in the project?
- Has the project been designed and implemented in a conflict sensitive manner?
- Has the project had any positive or negative effects on gender equality? Could gender mainstreaming have been improved in planning, implementation or follow up?
- Has the project had any positive or negative effects on the environment? Could environment considerations have been improved in planning, implementation or follow up?