This evaluation report provides the evidence that the Project (RMI5R208): “Y-PEER:
Strengthening and Expanding Capacity for Delivery of High Quality Peer Education Systems in Arab States, Eastern Europe and Central Asia” has achieved its desired goals and represents a very successful and worthwhile intervention.
Y-PEER, the Youth Peer Education Network, is a groundbreaking and comprehensive youth-to-youth initiative pioneered by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Y-PEER is a network of more than 500 non-profit organizations and governmental institutions; its membership includes over 7000 young people from 38 countries who work in the many areas surrounding adolescent sexual and reproductive health. The global network, which is constantly expanding, consists of country networks from Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East,
North and East Africa, and most recently Brazil. Members of Y-PEER include young people who are active peer educators, trainers of trainers and youth advocates for adolescent sexual and reproductive health. These young people contribute to and benefit from the resource materials, tools, training programs and campaigns provided by the Y-PEER networks.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) engaged the services of the Sustainable Research & Development (SRD) to perform an evaluation of Y-PEER.
The evaluation process required a number of teams (comprising two international consultants per team) to visit 8 countries participating in the Y-PEER Programme.
Visits to each country were brief (three – five days) during which time, consultants gained an understanding of the implementation of the programme nationally, its achievements and challenges. Key personnel representing the UNFPA, Y-PEER programme management and key informants (collaborative organizations, stake holders, peer educators) were interviewed during the course of the evaluation mission The evaluation of the Y-PEER Network took place from December 2007 to February 2008. This report is based on the findings of the 8 in-country evaluation missions and the document reviews associated with these missions.
Section two of the report outlines the methodology undertaken for this evaluation, including the processes for data collection and the analysis of this data.
The achievements of the network are outlined in section two and are divided into two prime areas. The first details the structure of the evolving network and highlights the achievements in the development of this structure. This includes the development of partnerships; the development of the Global Advisory Board; the training models utilized and the communication models developed and utilized. There is also a detailed section on the extensive resourcing of the activity of the network.
The second component of the achievements aligns the considerable achievements of the network with the outputs and indicators of the project. It is noted that all the indicators attached to the six outputs have been achieved, most beyond the parameters of the indicators themselves. This section provides that evidence that the Y-PEER network has achieved much beyond its original scope – including its reach across the region; its level of training; its resourcing; and its collaborative efforts with popular TV and music stars and organizations.
The discussion (section four) is divided into three areas: the impacts of the project; the major factors affecting the project; and the topics affecting sustainability. It is from this discussion that the 29 recommendations (section six) are drawn.
The impacts of this project have been great. The project has had an impact on the establishment of youth networks across the region; on capacity building of country youth services and of sexual and reproductive health services as well as a very strong impact on the quality of peer education that is available in the region. In addition, it is noted that the project has also provided information on baseline data to inform the Millennium Development Goals. Finally, as well as the intended impacts, this project has provided much in ‘added value’ from empowering the voice of young people; to developing a pool of highly qualified and skilled individuals; to indirectly providing HIV and STI education to parents, colleagues and administrators.
Given the great impacts that the project has had, there have also been many factors that have affected the achievement of these impacts in the countries in which the YPEER network exists. These have included the relationship that the UNFPA and other UN offices have had with the Y-PEER network; the strength and sustainability of in-country communication channels; the availability of resources and funding; the capacity of UNFPA offices to absorb the workload that the Y-PEER network has brought; and the appropriateness and timeliness of technical support offered to the developing Y-PEER networks. All of these have affected the development of country networks in different ways in different countries.
Finally, this report raises many topics that positively (and negatively) may affect the sustainability of the Y-PEER network. Chief among these is the ownership by young people of the network and the governance, coordination and management structures.
Succession planning; relationships with NGOs; visibility and branding; funding and fundraising and monitoring and evaluation all have played their part in assisting with the sustainability of the network.
This report illustrates that the Y-PEER network is a successful, comprehensive, groundbreaking initiative that has received worldwide recognition and that has delivered far more than originally hoped in a cost effective and efficient manner.
Further funds allocated to the expansion of the Y-PEER network are well spent.