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Evaluation to assess the support of Sweden to human rights based civil society organizations in Moldova, in particular the ongoing support to Civil Rights Defenders

The purpose of the evaluation was to identify how Sida best could support CSOs working in the field of human rights, including an in-depth assessment of Civil Rights Defenders and its partner organizations’ work in Moldova 2013-2016. The evaluation objectives were as follows:

  • To evaluate the on-going support to Civil Rights Defenders in Moldova. This includes identifying the medium and long-term results and lessons learned of Civil Rights Defenders’ Sida funded work, as compared to the original objectives and assessing Civil Rights Defenders’ different roles, the capacity development of Civil Rights Defenders, the capacity development and sustainability of its partner organisations, and their combined impact on democratic and human rights development in the region.  
  • To provide recommendations on how the Civil Rights Defenders’ programme can be strengthened in case a new phase is entered into.
  • To determine where and how the Embassy of Sweden can best provide added value in the support to human rights based organisations within its current state of civil society development. An assessment of current support will be conducted in regards to the cost-effectiveness, relevance and efficiency of funding, given over-head costs and impact from 2013-2016.
  • To recommend focus areas for the next phase of support.

The evalutaion method was primarily designed around applicable OECD/DAC evaluation criteria, the evaluation questions set out by Sida and the proposed interview questions. Additional evaluation questions were developed for the objective relating to identification of appropriate focus areas and modalities for Sweden’s future support to human rights CSOs.  

The evaluation concludes that the programme implemented by CRD fits well with the broad priorities set out in the Results strategy for Sweden’s reform cooperation with Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and Turkey 2014-2020. CRD has been able to identify relevant and effective partner organizations that in many ways have contributed effectively to the attainment of the programme objectives. The programme has been instrumental in strengthening the organizational development and results based management capacity, as well as the human rights related skills, of several partner organizations. Results have been particularly impressive when it comes to influencing the design of Moldova’s formal legal and institutional framework of relevance from a human rights perspective. The programme has paid limited attention to empowerment and mobilization of larger segments of society.

CRD should strive to provide its well-established partner organizations with core support on the basis of their strategic plans. It should also develop a capacity building strategy guided by a concerted effort to bring about lasting change and among other things provide for a higher degree of follow up after trainings, mentoring approaches, long-term staff exchanges, and closer collaboration with human rights groups utilizing other strategic approaches – including empowerment and mobilization of poor and marginalized communities.

CRD should also separate the financial and the capacity building support provided to partner organizations so that relevant human rights organizations not supported financially can attend and benefit from trainings and other forms of capacity development support. Provided that CRD reforms its operations along the lines set out above, the Swedish Embassy should consider continuing supporting its work and, if the financial means exist, explore an increase in the funding provided annually. 

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