The final evaluation of the PRF funded “Building a Constituency for Peace” project certified that the project reached or exceeded all its targets at output and outcome level and contributed to key national strategies in the area of gender equality and peacebuilding. Furthermore, the evaluation found that the knowledge and skills on life- and livelihoods acquired by students via the gender rights and empowerment oriented MSPS component and the sustainable livelihoods focused MPF components will be of value to them throughout their lives, putting students on a successful trajectory.
The project was implemented between 2013 and 2016 by the UN Women Kyrgyzstan Country Office in partnership with two national NGOs under the Responsible Partner modality. The Local Self-Governance (LSG) component of the project was implemented by the Foundation for Tolerance International, supporting 20 municipalities in implementing 49 action plans addressing the root causes of conflict. Through the My Prosperous Farm (MPF) course, implemented by the Rural Advisory Service Jalalabad, more than 2,300 students learned and implemented environmentally sound agricultural practices and business skills in their home vegetable gardens, setting themselves up for pursing a livelihood in their village rather than having to go into labour migration to Russia. 2,099 students, a majority being girls, participated in peer-led student study groups learning about gender equality and human rights and advocating for them in their schools and communities within the framework of the My Safe and Peaceful School (MSPS) course implemented directly by UN Women. The MSPS component in particular laid the foundation for a rejuvenation of the gender equality movement by engaging and preparing a new generation of gender activists.
The evaluation provided UN Women Kyrgyzstan Country Office and its partners with a useful assessment of project achievements and produced actionable findings and recommendations and documented lessons learned. The purpose of the evaluation was to contribute to effective programming and policy-making in the thematic area of Women, Peace and Security, to engage policy makers and other stakeholders in evidence-based dialogues, and to advocate for gender-responsive strategies to peacebuilding and conflict-prevention with a particular focus on engaging adolescents in dialogues of gender equality, human rights, and peace and security at local, national and regional levels. Findings and recommendations of the evaluation will help inform the development of the Country Office’s next Strategic Note 2018-2022, future programming within the WPS portfolio and beyond, and provide inputs for management decisions in an on-going project with similar approaches and methodologies.
By applying a gender-responsive methodology, the evaluation paid special attention and provided important evidence on the effect of the project on power relations in the participating communities and among project beneficiaries - including structural and other causes that give rise to inequities and discrimination. The evaluation also studied how men and women experienced and benefitted differently from the project. The evaluation team reviewed project related documentation, conducted interviews with 105 adult project stakeholders and obtained views of 129 students (95 girls and 29 boys) who participated in the MSPS and MPF components through a participatory exercise mapping change initiated by the project.