Cablegate: Monitoring and Evaluation Report for Ccf Liberia:

DE RUEHAB #0557/01 1451642
R 251642Z MAY 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: The Abidjan-based Refugee Coordinator
(RefCoord) for West Africa conducted a monitoring and
evaluation (M&E) assessment of the PRM-funded NGO, Christian
Children's Fund (CCF) during a visit to Liberia from May
4-11. RefCoord visited their offices in Monrovia and Zorzor
and a CCF project site in Fissebu, Lofa County. CCF appears
on target to meet their overall goal, "to promote the healthy
development and community reintegration of war-affected girls
and women in high-risk areas of western Liberia." RefCoord
recommends continued PRM funding to CCF as appropriate given
the difficult and continuing challenges returning women and
children face in post-crisis Liberia. End Summary.

2. The Abidjan-based Refugee Coordinator (RefCoord) for West
Africa visited Liberia from May 3-11 to conduct a monitoring
and assessment mission of PRM-funded NGOs. This report
covers the Christian Children's Fund (CCF) project,
"Safeguarding the Future Effectively (SAFE) in Bong and Lofa
Counties. RefCoord also met with CCF staff in January and
visited their offices in Monrovia and Zorzor and project site
in Fissebu, Lofa County. RefCoord met with CCF staff Richard
Thwaites (Country Director), Mendy Marsh (Program
Coordinator), and other CCF staff based in Zorzor. RefCoord
also discussed CCF's activities with UNHCR staff Raouf Mazou
(Acting Representative) and Cesar Ortega (Head of Voinjama
Field Office).


3. OBJECTIVE 1: To build resilience and reduce mental and
physical health morbidities associated with gender-based
violence (GBV) and the effects of war among 8,000 girls and
women in five districts in Bong and Lofa Counties through
psychosocial support, referral, and education.

- CCF has met indicators one and two;
- CCF has only organized one reconciliation ceremony. CCF
was in the process of organizing two more ceremonies in the
coming weeks. CCF reports slow progress due to issues of
proper organization of such local ceremonies, explaining that
these ceremonies often have the reverse intended effect on a
community and decided to put more effort into careful
planning of community ceremonies.

4. OBJECTIVE 2: To reduce young women's dependency on
transactional sex for financial gain by providing referrals
for vocational skills training and disbursing
educational/livelihood grants to 500 project beneficiaries at
high risk for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA).

- CCF has met the first indicator;
- CCF has not completed post testing of trainees under the
second indicator, but has exceeded the number of targeted
beneficiaries and will report on knowledge gain in final
report. CCF admitted to some problems in conducting pre and
post-tests due to low literacy of targeted beneficiaries;
- CCF intends to start grant distributions in mid-May;
- Monitoring of grant distributions is only possible after
all beneficiaries receive support. This will not be possible
by the end of the current project. CCF reported that
community workers have already received training for
long-term monitoring and the CCF will be able to follow-up as
part of a USAID funded project.

5. OBJECTIVE 3: To improve the knowledge, attitudes, and
practices of men, women, youth (among 70% of beneficiaries)
and GBV response referral points in the health, legal and
security sectors for GBV prevention and response through
training and sensitization efforts using multiple media.

- CCF is meeting its target of weekly sensitization
activities but reports reluctance from interagency partners
to hold bi-monthly district level training sessions. CCF
stated most partners will not participate in activities if
there are no sitting fees or food provided;
- CCF reported it will meet the indicator on formation of 50
CPC with the appropriate protection systems in place;
- CCF has met its indicator for training 100 healthcare
providers (20 per district);
- CCF had difficulties meeting the indicator on the number
of dialogues per month/per district (total of 20) in the
first half of the project. However, CCF managed to get
support from its offices early in 2007 and was able to
organize 18 dialogues in April;

ABIDJAN 00000557 002 OF 003

- CCF has met their target on training of female/male peer
- CCF has achieved a good working relationship with one
lawyer working with the Association of Female Liberian
Lawyers (AFELL). Given the difficulties most NGOs have
getting cooperation with AFELL, this is a positive result;
- CCF has met its target for training of security personnel.


6. Cross-cutting Goals: CCF's activities specifically
target vulnerable women and children and aim to involve the
larger community and public officials in supporting these

7. Coordination: CCF has strong links with many NGOs and
international organization partners in all activities. CCF
also works closely with governmental partners, particularly
the Ministry of Gender and Development via the National
Gender-based Violence Task Force.

8. Effective Use of Funds: GBV remains one of the leading
concerns in Liberia and NGOs and other organizations report
there has been much progress over the last couple of years in
Liberia. They report greater involvement from the
government, a series of successful national sensibilization
campaigns, and major legal reform, such as the anti-rape law.
CCF has played an active role alongside other NGOs pushing
this issue forward and continued progress in this area is
possible and needed. CCF's office in Zorzor enables it to
reach target populations in a region of the country where
significant refugee returns continue and where the majority
of IDP returns have occurred.

9. Financial and Personnel Systems: CCF Country Director,
Richard Thwaites, told RefCoord that fraud is endemic in
working in Liberia but said they had successfully identified
a problem with a previous financial manager who was fired for
financial wrongdoing. CCF appears to have adequate oversight
and monitoring of its financial system and personnel policies
are well established in Liberia.

10. HQs Oversight: CCF staff reported no visits from CCF
Headquarters during the past year and only a few technical
visits from their regional office in Banjul.

11. Coordination with PRM: CCF staff work very closely and
openly with PRM staff in Abidjan and Washington.

12. Security: CCF's office in Zorzor was broken into
earlier in the spring. Apparently, UNDP parked some vehicles
in their compound during a road rehabilitation project. The
road passes by CCF's Zorzor office and leads directly to the
Guinea border. Intruders stole one or two of the UNDP
vehicles and some material that Thwaites described as mostly
"junk." The thieves attempted to cross the border to Guinea
and engaged in a shoot out with Nigerian UNMIL officers. One
of the dead intruders was found with a bag that belonged to
an ARC staff member who had been robbed just weeks before in
Voinjama. No other major incidents were reported.

13. Problems: Thwaites said that most development funding
and agencies were not yet in Liberia to ensure a smooth
transition from relief to development. He mentioned there
seemed a general frustration as well at the national level
with NGOs, and that there was discussion to eliminate their
tax free status on fuel and expat salaries. Thwaites said
such changes would significantly drive up expenses for the
NGO community should they occur.


14. CCF continues to be a strong partner in Liberia.
Although there are some gaps in meeting its project
indicators, this is not fully representative of the
importance of CCF's contribution to child and female
protection issues in the country and CCF appears on target to
meet its overall project objective. Despite impressive
progress throughout Liberia in a number of sectors, women and
children still face particular difficulties in a country
where good jobs are scarce, food resource stocks are
recovering, and important sectors such as health care and the
rule-of-law depend on external support to keep them

ABIDJAN 00000557 003 OF 003

functioning. The PRM-funded SAFE project, combined with
CCF's other activities in Liberia, is playing a key role to
ensure these issues are addressed nationally and that some
response and protection mechanism remains in place to support
victims. RefCoord strongly recommends continued PRM funding
to CCF as appropriate.

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