Cablegate: Monitoring and Evaluation Report for Irc Liberia:

DE RUEHAB #0669/01 1761240
R 251240Z JUN 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 International Rescue
Committee's (IRC) PRM-funded project, "Integrated Protection
and Assistance to Support the Reintegration of Displaced
Liberian." RefCoord visited IRC offices and project sites in
Monrovia, Zorzor, Yeala, Fissebu, Borkeza, Konia, Voinjama,
and Kolahun in January and May of 2007. RefCoord is
particularly pleased with IRC's education activities and
encouraged to find so many IRC teachers who had previously
worked with or were trained by IRC in refugee camps now
working in schools spread throughout Lofa County. RefCoord
believes IRC is on target to meet most of its indicators by
the end of the project. End Summary.

2. The Abidjan-based Refugee Coordinator (RefCoord) for West
Africa conducted a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) assessment
of the International Rescue Committee's (IRC) PRM-funded
project, "Integrated Protection and Assistance to Support the
Reintegration of Displaced Liberians." RefCoord visited IRC
offices and project sites in Monrovia, Zorzor, Yeala,
Fissebu, Borkeza, Konia, Voinjama, and Kolahun in January and
May of 2007. RefCoord met IRC staff Nathan Richardson
(Country Director), Estelle Brumskine (Financial Controller),
Lynn Bowers (Education Coordinator), Angela Bailey (IRC
Monrovia), and Elijah Okeyo (Voinjama Field Coordinator).
RefCoord also spoke to Raouf Mazou (UNHCR Representative) and
Cesar Ortega (UNHCR Voinjama) with regard to field-level
coordination with IRC and a number of other NGO staff working
in collaboration with IRC.


3. OBJECTIVE 1: To reduce morbidity, mortality and
disability through improved access to primary health care and
water and sanitation services in catchment areas in Zorzor
and Salayea Districts.

- IRC has conducted targeted health training sessions. IRC
will not meet the figure of a 50 percent increase in
knowledge, however, they do report an increase of more than
20 percent. Given the initially high pre-test scores, this
should be considered as a positive result and having met the
- 100 percent of deliveries at health facilities received a
TT2 (above target);
- IRC is on target for persons attending health sessions per
- Monthly joint supervision visits are conducted at each of
the three health facilities;
- IRC has had trouble establishing an operational health
fund with one Community Health Committee. Health Committees
have had to be completely reconstituted. IRC plans to
establish this fund in Fissebu and will report on progress in
final report;
- IRC expects to meet indicator for water consumption/person
before end of project;
- IRC has met its target on number of water samples that
have 0 faecal coliforms per 100ml at the point of delivery;
- IRC believes it will fall just short of its indicator for
KAP survey respondents who use latrines;
- IRC stated it will meet the indicator on contributions to
water committees, although assistance will not all be
financial. For example, some committees will receive
agricultural assistance that can be used to generate

4. OBJECTIVE 2: To improve prevention and response to
gender-based violence through partnership with Ministry of
Gender, the Ministry of Justice and stakeholders such as
Women's Action Groups (WAGs).

- IRC reports it has met or will meet all indicators under
this objective except for the indicator on conducting 4
training sessions per quarter for 115 persons from partner
organizations. IRC reported it was too ambitious with this
indicator. IRC stated it will organize four training
sessions in the last quarter but organized only a total of
four training sessions for the previous three quarters.
Although IRC meets regularly with its partners, IRC reported
it is difficult to generate interest in training activities
when it does not offer sitting fees or other incentives.

5. OBJECTIVE 3: To improve access to quality education at

ABIDJAN 00000669 002 OF 003

five primary schools and three secondary schools in Zorzor
and Salayea districts.

- IRC has met the first two indicators under this objective;
- IRC reported it might not be possible to report on its
indicator for PTAs that generate income from
income-generating activities due to the difference between
the project cycle and the planting/harvest cycle. Most PTAs
planted crops this past spring and will only harvest them
after the end of the current project;
- The number of repatriating teachers (89) remains below the
target figure of 200. However, IRC teamed up with UNHCR and
the Ministry of Education this spring to offer a specific
package to qualified teachers in host countries willing to
work in rural areas. RefCoord is aware that many teachers
have accepted this package and RefCoord met IRC teachers
working in local schools throughout Lofa County in
particular. IRC will report final numbers at the end of
- IRC has met its final indicator under this objective.


6. Cross-cutting Goals: The IRC project targets the health
and education sector in its projects. Although many of IRC's
training and health activities are geared to the larger
community, IRC does give special attention to the needs of
vulnerable groups within those communities. IRC-run schools
in Lofa County have made significant progress over the last
two years and school enrollments are up, thus providing
direct benefits to children. IRC has significant non-PRM
donor resources in Liberia and is well poised to carry many
of its activities through the relief to development
transition phase in Liberia.

7. Coordination: IRC decided to withdraw as an implementing
partner with UNHCR during the project cycle. This ruffled
some feathers within UNHCR. Part of the reason for this
decision might have to do with the significant amount of
non-refugee funding sources and its interest to move into
longer-term activities. However, IRC and UNHCR are currently
looking at areas where they can still work closely together.
The joint IRC-UNHCR-Ministry of Education package offered to
teachers in countries of asylum willing to work in rural
areas is a good example of continued, though more limited,

8. Effective Use of Funds: RefCoord and other PRM staff
have come across IRC teachers throughout Lofa County and in
some areas of Bong County. These are teachers who were
either trained by or worked with IRC in refugee camps in
Guinea and Sierra Leone. IRC support to bring these teachers
back and their responsive management of a number of schools
in Liberia under this and previous PRM-funded projects, has
been a determining factor in supporting return as a viable
and durable solution for Liberian refugees. Likewise,
IRC-run clinics, alongside other NGO-run clinics, provide
critical and reliable support to the health care system as
the local and national health infrastructure comes back on
line. IRC is also one of a core group of NGOs in Liberia
that have taking a leading role in promoting GBV issues.

9. Sphere Standards: IRC applies SPHERE standards in its
health and wat/san activities.

10. Financial and Personnel Systems: IRC has been able to
identify and release employees involved in financial
mismanagement through its own internal controls. RefCoord
believes current Monrovia and field staff appear more engaged
than in previous years and have improved supervision of field
level activities. IRC Monrovia reports strong coordination
with its HQs and conducts regular monitoring visits to the

11. Coordination with PRM: IRC's new Country Director,
though fully engaged, has sometimes failed to communicate
emerging problems with PRM. This seems to be mostly linked
to the PRM-funded SEA project, but it has taken him time to
adjust to the idea of having a regular, working relationship
with the donor. Nevertheless, RefCoord has found the IRC
staff easy to work with and requests for additional
information easy to gather. RefCoord and PRM Washington
staff in January found one of the IRC schools to be suffering
from obvious management problems during a joint visit with
IRC. IRC responded by meeting with the PTA after our visit
and then dismissed most of the school's administration as a

ABIDJAN 00000669 003 OF 003

result of the issues the PRM team found. Although it would
have been better not to have arrived a such a point, this
demonstrates IRC's willingness to respond to PRM's concerns
when real issues are identified. IRC has submitted all
progress reports on time.

12. Security: IRC reported concern with security at its
office in Kolahun and was taking steps to improve its
security profile at its compound. IRC staff abide by the
UNMIL midnight curfew in upper-Lofa County.

13. Problems: IRC reported an increase in malnutrition and
TB cases at a referral clinic it had just taken over from
ICRC in Kolahun. IRC is coordinating a response in
cooperation with WFP and other NGOs on the ground. The only
other significant problem reported involved the decision to
withdraw as a UNHCR implementing partner as mentioned above.


14. RefCoord believes IRC is on target to meet most of its
indicators by the end of the project. RefCoord is
particularly pleased with IRC's education activities and
encouraged to find so many IRC teachers in schools spread
throughout Lofa County. Although IRC has moved quickly, and
visibly, into areas of upper-Lofa County, RefCoord does not
believe IRC alone can meet all the needs within the various
local communities, despite their decision to, "go-it-alone"
with UNHCR. At the same time, PRM has encouraged its
partners to diversify their donors as our funding begins to
decline. IRC, with its broad donor base, has positioned
itself well to make the transition from relief to development
in Liberia.

© Scoop Media

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