Peace Steps Mid-Term Evaluation to Strengthen the Facilitating Ecosystem for Social Enterprises in Palestine
Title Peace Steps: Social and Solidarity Economy experiences for sustainable growth in Palestine
Location West Bank and Gaza, Palestine
Project leader Vento di Terra
Funding AICS – Italian Agency for Development Cooperation
The project Peace Steps specifically targets crucial micro and macro level stakeholders that operate in what can be conceived as the Palestinian ecosystem for Social Solidarity Economy. In order to make positive and durable changes achievable both in the short and the long run, the project Peace Steps has been designed in such way to operate on multiple levels: from micro-level support targeting CBOs to macro-level awareness-raising and advocacy activities. Indeed, a crucial added value of Peace Steps may be found in its synergies-seeking attitude, testifies by the inclusion in the partnership of both highly qualified international partners and well-consolidated Palestinian actors, whose collaboration is crucial for the future sustainability of the project’s action.
The fact that the ecosystem is still in its inception phase and the Palestinian socio-economic context one of the most complex and volatile in the world, complicated further the task of the project. But Peace Steps has been designed in a very comprehensive way in order to be able to target the specific needs of different contexts of intervention.
The project is rooted in the long-standing presence of Vento di Terra in the country and the close relationship between the NGO and CBOs which represent the core beneficiaries of the project.
More specifically the beneficiaries of the project are:
- Manager and employees of 26 selected CBO/microenterprises
- Policymakers and institutional stakeholders
- Clients and stakeholders benefitting from CBOs activities (including Bedouin communities)
- National and international civil society
To assess the main achievements attained by the project, ARCO carried out a mid-term evaluation after 18 months of implementation of the project. The overall evaluation has been caried out as a dynamic and participative leaning process, actively involving all the most important stakeholders, including project staff, partners and beneficiaries themselves.
Despite being originally planned in February-May 2020, the international travel restriction because of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic forced a revision of the evaluation workplan. At first, the evaluation had been postponed for two months and then Vento di Terra and ARCO decided to carry out the data collection remotely. This decision was accompanied b a recalibration in the mid-term evaluation workplan and data collection strategy.
To carry out the mid-term evaluation, ARCO used mixed methods, qualitative and a quantitative, for data collection and analysis, in order to investigate the complex dynamics behind the attainment of the expected results and outcome, and to understand the role of implementing partners and other actors that participated. Evaluators also took into account the perception of beneficiaries, staff members and implementing partners through participatory methods to develop a proactive attitude towards the project.