IWORDS Global carried out a mid-term evaluation for the IOM project: Bridging together youth, diaspora, and local authorities for an integrated approach to promote employment and address irregular migration in The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, and Guinea Bissau (YDLA). This multi-country project, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), sought to promote safe migration and create alternatives to irregular migration of youth. It did so by fostering youth agency and employment in communities of origin; equipping national and local authorities with knowledge and tools on how best to account for migration into local development plans; and facilitating diaspora engagement to contribute to youth empowerment.
The project was implemented over 24 months and targeted three West African countries (The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Guinea Conakry). The mid-term evaluation assignment covered a period of 18 months. Its main purpose was to assess and evaluate implemented project activities, outputs and results (over the evaluation period), and their initial outcomes, against what was initially planned. The goal was also to draw substantive and clear recommendations for remedial action, and to improve the coordination, management, and delivery of project activities for the remaining project duration.
To achieve this evaluation assignment, IWORDS Global undertook an in-depth review of documentation. It also used its distinctive inclusive and participatory methodological approach, including in-depth interviews of key informants, focus groups, writeshops, and a field visit to the targeted countries. With all the information gathered and through a sound analysis and triangulation of it, our team evaluated the extent to which the YDLA project outcomes and targets matched the objectives and deadlines proposed for the defined project implementation evaluation period. All of this from a supportive and collaborative perspective instead of a simple audit of activities.
IWORDS is satisfied with the results achieved in this mid-term evaluation. The team produced an inception report, a methodological tool, an evaluation report, and an evaluation matrix. Our team also assessed the overall value added and contribution of YDLA project efforts at the local, national, and regional level, and identified key lessons learned and best practices for replication. The entire evaluation was guided by the OECD/DAC criteria for evaluating development assistance: effectiveness, relevance, impact, efficiency, and sustainability. All of this was analysed through a gender lens.