Purpose and scope of the evaluation
The mid-term evaluation (MTE) was implemented to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the project progress, to summarise the achieved results and determine directions for further project interventions. The project underwent a number of changes from the initial phase throughout the duration of the first year and beginning of the second year of implementation, and therefore the goal of the evaluation is also to provide a better understanding and deeper insight into those changes and compare the achieved results against the initial plans, and flesh out lessons learnt and recommendations for the further course of the project. The evaluation was done as an internal assessment, and a participatory and self-reflecting exercise, with support of CARE and Nexus project teams.
The project “Economic Strengthening for a Sustainable Return to Kosovo”, contract number: 2018/397-386 is being implemented over a period of 24 months, from July 11, 2018 to July 11, 2020. It is funded by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and implemented in Serbia, specifically South Serbia, Pcinja District, the City of Vranje, and municipalities Vladicin Han, Surdulica, Bosilegrad, Trgoviste, Bujanovac and Presevo, by CARE and local CSO Nexus as a project partner, and municipality of Vranje, as the supporting project partner.
The overall goal of the project is to enable IDPs and returnees from the readmission process to exercise their full rights, supported by enabling migration policies and processes in Republic of Serbia. This wider impact is planned to be achieved through reaching the specific objective - to support the sustainable process of return to Kosovo, for IDPs and readmissants - persons returned to Republic of Serbia according to the Readmission Agreement in the process of reintegration. The Action was envisaged to provide actions to support a sustainable return of beneficiaries interested to move their households and businesses to Kosovo*. As the narrative interim report demonstrated, there were some alterations in the setup of the project as a result of external political circumstances, which influenced these activities. Evaluation process and methodology
The overall objectives of the MTE are:
- To assess the project’s current performance against the below criteria for standard evaluations as relevant (e.g. at MTE stage efficiency and effectiveness will have higher relevance than assessing sustainability).
- A qualitative review of progress against the project logical framework.
- To make recommendations to improve current project implementation to achieve objectives and maximise impact
- To identify lessons learned and recommendations to improve future programming.
The midterm evaluation took place in November 2019, during the second year of the project. The evaluator conducted a desktop research which included review of the project proposal, baseline study, with accompanying materials and annexes, interim narrative report, and monitoring tools, and reviewed the project log frame. CARE project team (evaluator, Project Manager and Regional Director of CARE) conducted a workshop with Nexus project team in Vranje as the main project partner, and several interviews - with local trustee of Commissariat for Refugees and Migration/SCRM), and head of public service department in municipality of Vranje. Interview was also conducted with Mirjana Sevaljevic and Radmila Majstorovic from the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija in Belgrade.
Such form was selected so as to provide a participatory approach to evaluation, capturing the perspectives of key stakeholders. CARE and Nexus project teams, as the primary implementors, conducted in-depth consultation and reviewing of the project for the purpose of the evaluation, however, qualitative consultative process was ongoing since the beginning of the project.