Evaluation of the project “Dreams and Needs” to contrast educational poverty in Italy

Title Dreams and Needs

Location Alta Val di Cecina (Municipalities of: Volterra, Pomarance, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Castelnuovo Val di Cecina and Monteverdi Marittimo), Province of Pisa, Tuscany Region, Italy.

Duration April-May 2020

Project leader Carte Blanche

Funding Impresa Sociale Con i Bambini


The project Dreams and Needs, implemented by Carte Blanche, acts on schools in Volterra and Alta Val di Cecina with the aim of countering educational poverty. In particular, the intervention aims to counter the phenomena of school dropout and abandonment due to conditions of socioeconomic vulnerability of families of origin, geographical, social and cultural isolation.

In fact, in the municipalities of intervention – Volterra, Pomarance, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Castelnuovo Val di Cecina and Monteverdi Marittimo – the population is highly dispersed over the territory and is confronted with a shortage of easy connection routes as a result of the area’s rugged morphology.

The intervention uses a multi-stakeholder approach and synergistic integration between measures, all aimed at the development of creativity, planning and enhancement of talents, through which to stimulate a renewed “protagonism” of students, families and actors of the educating community to prevent educational poverty. In fact, the implementation of project actions is planned both in schools and in public spaces in the target territory.

General objective

The M&E and Impact Evaluation Unit was involved to conduct the mid-term evaluation at the conclusion of the first 18 months of the project, the final evaluation, and the impact evaluation 2 years after the project ended.

Our contribution

The mid-term evaluation of the project was conducted by ARCO in April 2020. A particular month during which in-person activities had been severely limited by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, data collection was conducted remotely, involving project workers and headmasters of the project-identified educational institutions in participatory activities by means of digital tools.

The participatory activities were carried out through virtual focus group discussions that allowed the involvement of adult stakeholders (operators, project staff, teachers and principals). The M&E and Impact Evaluation Unit favored a participatory and qualitative methodology, combined with desk analysis of documents produced as part of the project, and quantitative analysis of the data collected. The latter were acquired through the administration of questionnaires from schools and from the collection of information from practitioners during project activities.

The mid-term evaluation investigated the degree of intervention success in relation to the criteria of relevance, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency. The remaining criteria of impact and sustainability will be investigated at the time of the final evaluation(to be held at the conclusion of the project)

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