Mid-term 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

Context

The project Dreams and Needs, implemented by Carte Blanche, involves schools of the Upper Val di Cecina (PI) with the aim of contrasting educational poverty. In particular, the purpose of the project is to reduce early school abandonment and drop-out due to geographic, social and cultural isolation. These phenomena are often connected to socio-economic distress and to a difficult integration process, especially of foreign families. In fact, the targeted municipalities (Volterra, Pomarance, Montecatini Val di Cecina, Castelnuovo Val di Cecina and Monteverdi Marittimo) are characterized by a strong dispersion of the population over the area because of the geographic morphology and the lack of connecting streets.

The project adopts a multi-stakeholder approach and synergistic integration between measures, all aimed at developing creativity, planning and enhancement of talents, through which to stimulate a renewed “protagonism” of students, families and actors of the educating community. The implementation of the project actions is in fact provided both in schools and in the public spaces.

General objective

The mid-term evaluation set out to evaluate the results achieved by the project after the first 18 months of implementation.

What have we done?

M&E and Impact Unit’s Researchers carried out remote data collection during April 2020, involving the project operators, as well as the managers and teachers of the targeted schools.

All participatory activities such as virtual focus group discussions were carried out remotely. Researchers used virtual platforms to connect with and engage with stakeholders (operators, project staff, teachers and principals). Originally, Researcher were meant to visit  areas of intervention in April 2020, but the spread of Covid-19, and consequent health crisis, prevented them. The evaluation methodology was therefore revised by the evaluating body in order to carry it out from afar in compliance with the Prime Ministerial Decree issued from 23 February 2020.

Researchers favoured a participatory and qualitative methodology, combined with the desk analysis of the documents produced within the project, and the quantitative analysis of the collected data. The latter were acquired through questionnaires submitted in the targeted schools during the project activities. The evidence obtained from the qualitative analysis was therefore triangulated with data from the monitoring process and with the quantitative data, to obtain a robust and extensive analysis of the results achieved by the project.


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