This evaluation represents the final evaluation of a three-year Malawi Deaf/Deafblind Awareness and Communication Training (M-DACT) project, implemented by the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian (CCAP) Malawi, with support from Sense Scotland and Signal, UK. With funding from the Scottish Government, the project was aimed at increasing access to education, to improve retention and to improve academic achievement for Deaf and hearing impaired children (HIC) in Malawi’s Northern Region. The final evaluation of the project, commissioned by Sense Scotland and Signal, was conducted in April 2016 to provide an independent and impartial review of the M-DACT project, and assess the extent to which it delivered its intended outcomes to the target beneficiaries. The evaluation explored lessons learned from this project, how this learning can be used and shared, relevance and appropriate targeting of project activities; extent to which attitudinal change has been affected, and long-term sustainability of project activities. Findings from this study are presented, alongside a list of actionable recommendations that will be shared with other stakeholders and they will also be used for future planning purposes.
The approach undertaken to deliver on this assignment followed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) criteria of assessing development interventions: Relevance, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Sustainability and Impact. Fieldwork was conducted across the four districts where the M-DACT project was implemented. This cross sectional study utilized both qualitative and quantitative approaches to assess the performance of the project between April 2013 and March 2016. Of the 348 survey participants, 64% (221) were male and the remaining 36% (127) were female. The participants were drawn from 86 schools in eight out of the twelve zones where M-DACT was implemented. The schools were distributed as follows: Chitipa (21), Karonga (17), Mzimba South (20) and Rumphi (28). In addition, fourteen focus group discussions were conducted with 34 family members, 20 Deaf/Hearing Impaired Children (HIC), 10 community leaders, 59 teachers and head teachers, as well as, 10 students at a Teacher Training College. At least 39 key informants (28 male and 11 female) participated in detailed qualitative type of interviews, six were community leaders, seven school level duty level bearers, nine representing project partners and seventeen from zonal, district and regional education authorities.
Summary of main findings
Findings from this study reveal that the project, M-DACT, was a model and innovative project with a clear goal to support Deaf/deafblind children reach their development targets and realise their full potential in life. Utilising the total grant of £368,843 from the Scottish Government, the project has successfully contributed to the reported increase in the number of children with hearing impairment in Malawi’s Northern Region accessing education, to improve retention, and to improve academic achievement for Deaf and hearing impaired children (HIC). Overall, it is estimated that 6,861 participants and supporters were directly reached by the project, of which 50.5% (3,468) were female. Of the total number of participants supported by the project, 35% (2,388) were Deaf /deafblind children. To do so, the project engaged family members, teachers, community members and other stakeholders to help them appreciate and accept their own children regardless of status. Most importantly, the project has led to have helped reduce social exclusion often faced by Deaf/deafblind children in the society.
To download the full report click this link: Sense_Signal M-DACT Evaluation Report July 2016